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Driver receives 7-year sentence after drunk driving accident

One often wonders whether intoxicated drivers realize how their actions impact the lives of victims of car accidents caused by drunk driving. It is not uncommon for individuals who were involved in a drunk driving accident to suffer life-altering injuries, or worse. After the recent sentencing of a driver who pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI charges, the Illinois victim said that while she was satisfied that justice prevailed, it does not improve her condition that was caused by the accident.

The police accident report stated that on the evening of April 16, the victim left her business and proceeded to her vehicle that was parked in the street in front of the building, directly opposite the police station. A witness reportedly saw a minivan stopping and a passenger emerging. He was seen pulling off, smashing into a car that was parked and backing up, striking the victim and her car. Upon hearing the crash, police came out of the police station to see the minivan speeding off.

The police went in pursuit and found the minivan a couple of blocks away -- smashed into a tree. The police report stated that the man was unable to stand and had to be supported. A blood alcohol content test indicated a level of .248 percent, which is almost triple the allowed level on Illinois roads. The victim suffered brain trauma and a back fracture, along with five leg fractures, and has only recently managed to walk with the aid of a walking stick, after being wheelchair bound. She stated that she would never be able to resume her profession as a hair stylist as her injuries would prevent her from standing for too long.

The drunk driver was sentenced to seven years in jail. Illinois victims of a drunk driving accident that was caused by the negligence of another party may pursue recovery of medical expenses. They retain the right to file a personal injury claim in a civil court, and may be awarded a monetary judgment. In addition to current medical expenses, the court may award additional compensation as allowed by the laws of Illinois. If a drunk driver was convicted in a criminal court, it might benefit the injured victim in a civil case.

Source: news-gazette.com, "Victim of drunk driver recounts crash", Mary Schenk, Sept. 11, 2014

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