The penalties and fines associated with a first drunk driving conviction are meant to repay a debt to society, deter a defendant from repeating the offense and help the accused get help for a possible addiction. There is no way to undo the permanent losses created in a fatal car accident but some DUI drivers have the chance to make amends, if victims survive the drunk driver’s negligence.
A 63-year-old Hobson West man recently pleaded guilty to causing a DUI crash in Naperville. The multi-vehicle accident took place last November near the Edward Hospital campus.
Naperville police said the older driver was eastbound on Martin Avenue in a 2003 GMC Envoy. Apparently the defendant was too impaired that afternoon to notice the light at Washington Street had turned red. The Envoy slammed into a second vehicle, an old-model Ford Expedition, moving southbound on Washington Street.
The crash impact drove the Expedition onto the hood of a third car, a southbound Ford Taurus operated by a Naperville teenager. A fourth and fifth vehicle headed along the northbound side of Washington Street were also caught up in the crash.
A 44-year-old woman driving a Dodge Caliber suffered minor injuries and was treated and released at the nearby hospital. The fifth car in the pileup was a Honda Odyssey driven by a 38-year-old woman transporting two young children, her 6-year-old girl and a toddler-age boy.
The driver of the vehicle that took the hardest hit, the Expedition, was hospitalized and treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released. The other victims, including the teen and the children in the Odyssey, were unhurt.
In this drunk-driving crash, the damage to the vehicles exceeded the human costs. The drunk driver’s guilty plea in DuPage County Circuit Court resulted in a mixed sentence.
The defendant will be under court supervision for 18 months. Part of the sentence requires the Naperville man to perform community service in the sheriff department’s SWAP or alternative work program. Mandatory alcohol abuse counseling was also imposed. The defendant must also pay fines and court costs of $1,600 and reimburse the city for its expenses to investigate and cleanup the five-car wreck.
Source: napervillesun.suntimes.com, “Man who caused DUI pileup sentenced,” Bill Bird, April 26, 2012