Girlfriend takes criminal responsibility for fatal DUI accident

No one gets behind the wheel of a car, even if they are knowingly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and hopes that they will cause an accident and hurt someone. But that doesn’t mean that society doesn’t still castigate that person, and rightly so. There are certain risky behaviors of which the dangers are so well-known, that engaging in them is against the law.

In November 2010, a woman got behind the wheel of a vehicle with her boyfriend as passenger. She surely never wanted him to get hurt, but her decision to drive while under the influence of drugs didn’t just hurt her loved one. The DUI accident killed him.

The Pennsylvania accident victim sustained head injuries so severe in the DUI crash that he couldn’t survive them. His girlfriend drove under the influence of cocaine and prescription drugs and was driving at an excessive speed before the accident. It’s no surprise that a fatality ensued.

It is also no surprise that the driver was charged with involuntary manslaughter. She recently pleaded guilty to the criminal charge and will face sentencing for the conviction in September.

Drunk and drugged drivers are serious threats to themselves and to the public. Sometimes, the criminal system just doesn’t do enough to send careless drivers the message that their behavior is unacceptable. A more personal message, sent through personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, can be an effective extra measure to get through to DUI offenders.

Source: The Associated Press, “Pa. woman pleads in boyfriend’s DUI crash death,” June 20, 2012

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