Last summer, a man from East Peoria ran into a motorcycle with his car, killing the rider of the motorcycle. The driver of the car was found to have marijuana in his system at the time of the accident.
A judge recently sentenced the man to four years probation for the incident. The driver will have to serve 180 days in jail after completing an intense private drug treatment program that lasts for one year.
The judge explained his decision by citing the driver's diagnosis for hypoglycemia, which may have played a role in the reason why the man lost control of his car and crashed into the motorcyclist. The driver's defense attorney argued that his client had low blood sugar, leading to an apparent blackout.
The man pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence in return for a 12-year maximum on any prison term. He must also pay a $2,000 fine, participate in a DUI impact panel and complete 200 hours of public service.
The judge warned that his reasoning in handing down this sentence should not be seen as a blueprint for other DUI offenders to avoid spending time in jail.
Just because an offender has been convicted of a crime does not mean that the issue is over and done with. Those who have suffered as a result of another person's negligence or recklessness have the right to go to civil court and sue for damages. Although the individual who was lost cannot be brought back, their loved ones can ask the court to make the responsible party take responsibility for the accident.
Source: Peoria Journal Star, "Judge finds 'extraordinary circumstances' in DUI fatal," Andy Kravetz, August 2, 2012.
To learn more about victim's rights following a fatal car accident, please visit our Chicago Wrongful Death resource page.