Traffic accidents have become the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and roughly one-third of these accidents involve alcohol or another mind or mood-altering substance. These statistics have led the US to have a strict “No Tolerance” policy regarding driving under the influence for drivers under the age of 21
One example comes to us recently, from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Last April, a 20-year old male driver pled guilty to the two felony DUI charges he was given after police stated that he drove his vehicle through the patio of a local restaurant, “The Egg & I”. The patio was full of people who were dining and many of them were injured in his crash. The end result varied from burns to broken bones – and even a collapsed lung for one unfortunate diner.
One customer at the restaurant was visiting from California and was dining with five other family members when the accident occurred. She recounts seeing her teenage nephew trapped under the automobile. She also describes seeing an older woman bleeding under the patio chairs. “It was a horrible, horrible moment,” she said of the wreckage. She also mentions that she is still struggling with the medical bills that this ordeal has left her with.
The young man was later found to be under the influence of both marijuana and Xanax, among other substances. Xanax is a medication prescribed for anxiety and is often abused by drug-users for its sedative effect.
The driver did attempt to flee the scene, but was tackled by witnesses of the accident on the street and was held there until police arrived.
He was finally sentenced a minimum of six years behind bars, with a maximum of 20 years – a time that was greatly reduced from the 32 to 80 years he was initially facing. He was also originally facing four other charges that were dropped in the end. He could possibly be allowed out of jail by the time he is twenty-four.
He claims that his plans, once he is released, will be to obtain his GED, start supporting his family, and find a way to pay back the victims that were harmed. “I want to do nothing but good,” he states.
If you have been a victim of a careless or intoxicated driver in Las Vegas, Nevada, you will need an attorney to take a stand on your behalf. Edward M Bernstein & Associates has been practicing law in the area for many years, and is currently accepting these types of cases. Do not be an unvoiced victim to crimes like this – get help in one call.