A man in Illinois was recently sentenced to probation in connection with a fatal drunk driving accident. The sentence was handed down on a recent Tuesday. The man faces probation lasting 48 months for his DUI charge.
The accident that led to his conviction for DUI happened when the man and his girlfriend were driving early in the morning on New Year’s Day in 2016. Officials reported that the man was in the driver’s seat and was looking at his cellphone while operating the car. When he returned his eyes to the road, he apparently thought he saw headlights coming toward their car and thus swerved.
That is when the car struck a train overpass support beam. His girlfriend ended up being ejected and died. At the time of the accident, the man was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.174, based on a Breathalyzer test he did at the police station. The man, 40, ended up pleading guilty to aggravated DUI last June, which motivated prosecutors to dismiss an additional reckless homicide charge against him.
Those facing DUI charges have the option of going directly to court to fight the charges or seeking plea deals with prosecutors. At trial, prosecutors have to prove such charges beyond a reasonable doubt before any convictions can be handed down. This standard exists in an effort to prevent innocent people from being convicted of crimes they did not actually commit. With a plea deal, a person accused of DUI may end up with a lighter charge and thus a more lenient sentence than what would result from a guilty finding at trial.
Source: bnd.com, “St Clair County judge sentences St Louis MO man in fatal DUI”, Dana Rieck, July 18, 2017