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Courts heavy hand in drunk driving accidents

Drunk driving accidents are common types of accidents that occur on the roadways. Those who are victims in car crashes such as these often end up with serious bodily injuries or, in very unfortunate situations, fatal injuries. The results of accidents caused by drunk drivers are bleak and those responsible should be punished for their actions. Driving drunk is a bad decision made by impaired thinking while under the influence of alcohol and this leads to disastrous outcomes. Drunk drivers themselves often walk away from the accident unscathed but others are not so lucky.

A Western Pennsylvania man, who was involved in a drunk driving accident that killed the passenger in the car, was sentenced to two to six years in state prison. This was the man's second drunk driving accident that resulted in death. When the man was a minor, his driving under the influence caused a crash that resulted in the death of another individual. The sentence imposed in this most recent case does not reflect whether or not that prior accident had any bearing on the court's decision because the man was a minor when he was charged.

The courts are not lenient on drunk drivers especially when the accident results in serious injuries or death. When death occurs it results in a criminal punishment. In cases where serious bodily injury is the outcome of the car crash, families of the victims can sue for the payment of medical expenses for the injured. This is of little comfort to the victim's families, but it financially assists them in their time of need.

The seriousness of drunk driving accidents coupled with the untold damage that may be caused leaves the courts very little choice when doling out punishment. Hence, where applicable, the courts tend to exact a punishment that is appropriate.

Source: The Tribune-Democrat, "W Pa. man gets prison for his second fatal crash," Associated Press, Nov. 19, 2012

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