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Drunk driver sentenced to prison time

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

A woman charged with the deaths of two other women in a 2010 car accident has been sentenced to federal prison. The 43-year-old woman was found guilty of drunk driving and vehicular homicide, as well as several other charges. The convicted drunk driver will serve between four and seventeen years in a federal Pennsylvania prison.

According to court documents, the woman was speeding and failed to negotiate a turn correctly, causing her to overcorrect and spin out into the opposing lane. Her vehicle collided with another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. The two women in that vehicle were killed in the ensuing crash when their vehicle was crushed.

When the woman was taken to hospital for treatment, she admitted to having consumed some alcohol prior to driving. A blood test revealed her blood alcohol level was 0.156, almost twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania. She also tested positive for marijuana and amphetamines. She pleaded guilty in May to one count of vehicular homicide as well as DUI, speeding, disregarding traffic lanes and careless driving. In exchange for her plea, a second vehicular homicide charge was dropped.

Given the woman has pleaded guilty in the criminal case, any further suits the victims' next of kin may wish to bring against her would already have considerable precedent. Should they desire it, the families would be entitled to file a wrongful death suit against the drunk driver. Such a suit would be dealt with separately from the criminal charges, in a Pennsylvania civil court.

Source: York Dispatch, "Prison for drunken driver who caused Chanceford Twp. crash that killed 2 women," Liz Evans Scolforo, July 2, 2013

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