On behalf of Kammholz Law PLLC posted in Car Accidents on Friday, February 21, 2014.
People in New York may have seen the tragic story of a 16-year-old drunk driver who caused a car crash that killed four people, and the outrage that followed when the court refused to sentence him to serve time in jail. The controversial story, and the justification for his light sentence, have many people across the country wondering if justice is being served for the victims and their families. The tragedy unfolded in Fort Worth, Texas, when a 16-year-old driver with a blood-alcohol content of three times the legal limit for an adult driver, as well as traces of prescription sedatives, slammed into a stopped car alongside the highway, killing four people who had stopped to assist a woman who was having car trouble. At the time of the car crash, the driver also had seven passengers in his car. One of them was completely paralyzed and the other one suffered serious and life-altering injuries. Prosecutors were pursuing a sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, but the judge in this case refused to throw the book at the boy, instead sentencing him to 10 years’ probation. In addition, the boy must attend a rehab facility, but for no mandatory minimum length of time. Expert witnesses for the defense said the boy had been protected and coddled his entire life by his wealthy parents, and as a result, didn’t understand the concept of responsibility. For the victims and their families, this defense argument rings an especially hollow tone, as the boy will merely be sent off to a rehabilitation facility without ever seeing a day in prison. If the boy’s deadly actions were indeed the result of his parents’ poor decisions, then the parents themselves should also be held accountable to the victims. With the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, the victims and their families should be able to bring civil suits against the drunk driver, and because he is a minor, his parents may be liable as well. Source: New York Post “‘Affluenza’ teen gets no jail in deadly crash,” Feb. 5, 2014