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7-year sentence handed down in 2014 drunk driving accident

Here in Louisiana, anyone with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more is presumed to be intoxicated. Even knowing this, several people are still arrested each year for driving under the influence. Intoxicated individuals often suffer from reduced inhibitions, an inability to think clearly and diminished reaction time. When a person is behind the wheel of a car while over this legal limit, the potential for a drunk driving accident immeasurably rises.

In June 2014, an intoxicated 28-year-old Louisiana man had a blood alcohol level of .13 as he traveled on LA 1. At some point, he lost control of his vehicle, went off the road and slammed into a culvert and utility pole. The vehicle then overturned.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, but, tragically, there were three children in the car with him. None of the three had on seat belts, and all of them were ejected during the accident. One of them, an 8-year-old boy, died because of the injuries he suffered. The other two children, ages four and five, suffered only minor injuries.

In July, the man pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular negligent injuring for each of the surviving children and one count of homicide by vehicle for the boy who died. Recently, the judge presiding over his case in Ascension Parish sentenced him to prison for seven years. The 8-year-old and 4-year-old were the children of his girlfriend at the time.

She retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against him for the loss of her son in this drunk driving accident. She may use his conviction and sentencing to help establish his negligence in a Louisiana civil court. Should she prevail, she may be awarded damages permitted by state laws.

Source: theadvocate.com, "Drunk driver who caused fatality in Assumption Parish sentenced to seven years in prison", Oct. 21, 2015

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