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Pennsylvania drunk driver receives prison sentence for fatal crash

Even though Pennsylvania drivers are ultimately responsible for ensuring that they’re able to drive before they get behind the wheel, sometimes other people play a role in drunk driving accidents. In some cases, people who ignore certain warning signs may also be penalized for their decisions.

Almost four years after a drunk driving accident that killed three Pennsylvanians, the victims’ family members will receive a total of $12.7 million. The driver who caused the accident had apparently planned to have a designated driver, but for an unknown reason his plan did not work out. As a result, the designated driver who neglected his duty is obligated to pay $60,000 to the family members.

On the night of the accident, the driver attended a local hockey game, where he was served alcohol. He also consumed alcohol at several establishments on his way to and from the hockey game. The three victims’ family members sued five businesses that played a role in the accident; four of the businesses served alcohol to the driver, and one business’ wall blocked the driver’s view, which may have been one cause for the crash. All of these businesses will pay substantial settlements to the family members.

The driver himself received the harshest punishment; he was sentenced to at least seven years in prison, and he could serve up to 18 years. Following the accident, a blood test confirmed that his blood-alcohol level as high as 0.23 percent, almost three times the legal limit. Because the penalties for DWI offenses are so severe, it is important for anyone who is facing such charges to seek the help of an attorney.

Source: Lehigh Valley Live, “Families of three killed in crash with drunken Bethlehem Township, Pa., driver awarded $12.7 million settlement,” Peter Panepinto, Nov. 6, 2013

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