Last week’s post discussed the imbalance between the nominal penalties offenders face for causing multiple crashes and the long-term consequences car accident victims have to contend with. Repeat offenders are let off lightly, and a new law is set to change that in Colorado.
The change, if it happens, will come too late for a 25-year-old woman who died in a tragic drunk driving accident last year. According to police reports, the woman had stopped at a red light when her vehicle was hit from behind by a person suspected of driving under the influence. Her vehicle was pushed into oncoming traffic and then hit by three other cars.
The crash was so severe that it spread debris over 200 feet and several vehicles were severely damaged in the crash. She was just a couple of blocks from her home when the accident took place. Although she was transported to the hospital to receive treatment for her injuries, she did not survive.
The suspected drunk driver had multiple previous convictions for DUIs in various counties. According to some police officers, he had been arrested at least six times previously. He was charged with DUI, felony DUI, reckless driving, vehicular homicide and violation of a protection order. He was on probation and had been prohibited from consuming alcohol, which is why the last charge was added. He is set to go on trial this week.
Many accident victims and their loved ones prefer to file a civil suit to recover compensation and justice for the loss they have suffered. Criminal charges proceed independently from a civil suit and have different evidentiary standards as well. It might help to discuss one’s options with an experienced attorney.