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West Chester man faces homicide charges after eighth DUI offense

Although many DUI offenders learn from their mistakes, for some Pennsylvanians change comes only after multiple arrests and the loss of a life. This pattern of behavior affects the offender as well; after someone is charged with drunk driving, he may lose the ability to drive or even serve a prison sentence.

Following the death of a 24-year-old motorcyclist, a West Chester man pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle. At the time of the fatal accident, the man’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. Since 1981, the man has been making a habit of driving under the influence of alcohol. Even after he served prison sentences for some of his eight DUI offenses, he continued to drive without a license.

Because the man has racked up so many DUI offenses, the judge in this case is seeking the most severe punishment possible, and he may spend several years in prison. His sentence has not yet been determined.

Meanwhile, some state legislators have proposed laws that would lengthen prison sentences for repeat DUI offenders, especially those who cause accidents that prove fatal. Thankfully, the number of fatalities caused by drunk driving has held steady in Pennsylvania for the last several years.

Hopefully, the West Chester man will receive treatment for alcoholism and fully recover from his addiction, which has already cost him dearly. Although the man has said that he discovered prayer as a coping mechanism, he may need other forms of treatment to overcome his addiction.

Even for a first-time DUI offender, the penalties for drinking and driving are quite severe. When people are arrested for their second, third, and subsequent DUI offenses, the penalties increase substantially. For this reason, it is best to work with an experienced defense attorney.

Source: Philly, “West Chester man, called county’s worst drunk driver, pleads guilty,” Tricia L. Nadolny, April 16, 2014

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Gregory R. Gifford
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