Illinois man sentenced in holiday drunk driving crash

Illinois residents feel the effects of alcohol differently. Some people can have one drink and start slurring their words. Yet, others can have a pitcher of beer and walk a straight line. The factor that binds these two types of individuals, however, is that neither should necessarily get behind the wheel of a car after drinking because they risk being arrested for drunk driving or for being involved in an alcohol-related accident.

One Illinois man was involved in both, but he told the court that he did not feel as though he was intoxicated when he got behind the wheel that night even after several beers. Yet, somehow, he ended up crashing into another vehicle on Illinois 158 on Dec. 19, 2016. The head-on collision led to the death of the 68-year-old woman in the other vehicle.

After pleading guilty to aggravated DUI causing death, the man was sentenced by a judge. He is to serve two consecutive sentences of six months each. However, depending on his behavior during the first six months, he may not have to serve the second full time. He may be allowed to serve it on the weekends so that he can rejoin his family and return to being a productive member of his community. He will also undergo an alcohol abuse and mental health assessment and serve 100 hours of community service for each year of his four years of probation.

Considering that a woman died in this crash, the sentencing could have been much worse. When an individual is arrested in the aftermath of a fatal drunk driving accident, the potential penalties can be harsh. Choosing an option that involves jail time, community service and probation over prison time may represent the best possible outcome to the charges, as it appeared to be in this case.

Source: bnd.com, "He was drunk and killed a woman in a crash. Her family says his sentence isn't enough.", Kara Berg, Aug. 30, 2017

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