16-year old Ethan Couch was recently sentenced to ten years of probation, after a drunk driving incident took the lives of four civilians. The prosecution was pushing for a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, as his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit for an adult. Huffington Post article states, “Psychologist G. Dick Miller testified for the defense that Couch suffered from “affluenza,” a condition in which his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.” As part of his sentence, Ethan will also be attending a luxurious private counseling center. As expected, families of the victims of Ethan’s drunk driving, have brought 5 lawsuits against both Ethan, his family, and his father’s business. Read MoreGoogle+
Different states use various letter designations for the spectrum of alcohol and substance related driving offenses committed within their borders. New York recognizes DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired (by alcohol)), and DWAI /drugs (Driving While Ability Impaired (by a substance other than alcohol)). New York also prosecutes for Chemical Test Refusal and underage drinkers with a BAC of 0.02% or more, based on the Zero Tolerance law.
One question that often comes up is the difference between DUI and DWI. After all, both charges involve operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other mind-altering substance. Yet, there are some differences in the two charges.Google+
In Indianapolis’s second-largest legal settlement to date, the family of Eric Wells, a motorcyclist killed by a speeding police car two years ago, has received $1.5 million from the municipal government. While stopped at a red light with some other motorcycle enthusiasts, Wells was struck from behind and killed by a policeman driving a city police vehicle. Officer David Bisard’s actions at the time of the crash are a triumvirate of dangerous driving practices: he was drunk (technically only allegedly — see suspicious circumstances below), he was speeding towards a non-emergency he was not dispatched to, and to top it all off, he was using his in-car police computer for non-police purposes while driving. Any one of those details on their own would be enough for a hefty civil case. Combined, it seems to any observer that the man is justly doomed to a life in jail. In fact, a criminal trial for reckless homicide and criminal recklessness are still pending, along with two more civil cases for the two motorcyclists he only injured. So what’s the hold up?Google+