Drunk Driver Kills Four and Avoids Jail Because he was “Spoiled”

Dec. 12th, 2013   /   ,

As personal injury attorneys, we at the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg deal with a great many unpleasant cases, from issues of medical malpractice to slip and falls to wrongful death cases. Some of the most heinous incidents we deal with are wrongful death cases stemming from a drunk driving crash, in which the victim’s life was stopped short due to the reckless decisions of another.

Recently, a drunk 16-year-old was out driving his pickup truck, speeding, when he plowed into four individuals who were by the side of the road, standing outside of their car. All of the four individuals who were struck by the pickup truck died.

The teenager’s blood alcohol content (BAC), taken after the fatal crash, was 0.24. As an adult, if you register a 0.8, you are technically driving under the influence and can be charged with DUI—this teen, who is still 5 years away from being legally allowed to consume any alcohol, registered a BAC three times the adult legal limit.

Obviously, given the crime of DUI and deaths resulting from the reckless driving, the teen was charged by prosecutors who tried to get him sentenced to 20 years in jail. However, despite killing four people due to his reckless behavior and intoxicated state, the teen won’t face twenty years in jail. He won’t face ten years in jail. In fact, he won’t face any jail time.

The teen was sentenced to a simply a decade of probation, a “punitive” measure typically reserved for non-violent offenders, not for people who drive drunk and, as a result, end the lives of four innocent people.

So, how exactly did the teen’s defense attorneys get him out of this one? Essentially, they got him off the hook for the deaths of the four bystanders by pointing to the fact that he was raised as a spoiled rich kid. According to a CBS News article, the defense team called a psychologist as a witness who, during the trial, testified that the teen was a product of wealth and “got whatever he wanted.” Thus, the defense attorneys argued, the teen, responsible for the wrongful death of four innocent people, belonged in a treatment facility rather than prison. The treatment facility that the lawyers suggested as punishment costs roughly half a million dollars per year.

So, are the families of the innocent victims left without any legal recourse? They hardly saw justice in the criminal court, where the judge sentenced the killer of four innocent people to “hard time” on probation. The families can, however, sue the teen (and his very wealthy family) in civil court, seeking damages in a wrongful death suit.

The civil courts provide an outlet in which individuals can seek compensation for injuries they’ve sustained, in this case the losses of loved ones; where individuals can try to right the wrongs that have been done to them.

If one of your family members has been wrongfully taken from you due to the negligent (or criminal) actions of another, please let us know. You have options and we can help you ensure that they become a reality.

To schedule a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg, please reach out to us by calling 561-266-9191 or emailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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