What makes drinking and driving a dangerous combination is the fact that you’re not completely aware of your actions until you sober up and learn that your actions injured or killed someone. At that point you can’t undo what’s already been done, and all the apologies in the world will never be enough for the persons your actions harmed. A businessman in Charlottesville, Virginia stood in a courtroom and expressed sincere remorse for driving drunk one day in October 2010 and killing an aspiring winemaker.
The Daily Progress recently reported that the 59-year-old suspect was driving on a city highway when he lost control of his vehicle. He crossed the center line and into the path of the victim’s motorcycle, throwing him from his bike. He died at the scene. Police found an empty liquor bottle and receipt showing he had purchased the liquor from a store earlier that day. The suspect had a blood-alcohol content of 0.111, which exceeded Virginia’s legal limit of 0.08. He was arrested and later plead guilty to DUI manslaughter.
The suspect was sentenced to 11 years in jail, 8 years of which were suspended. Therefore, he will spend three years in jail. He was also put on probation and ordered to remain on good behavior for 10 years after his release. He was prohibited from driving for a year after his release and was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
In court, the suspect read a statement apologizing to the victim’s family for his actions. His wife had testified that she had no knowledge of her husband’s drinking. The suspect had no previous criminal history and a good driving record before his arrest. This suspect had no intention of harming anyone, and he certainly didn’t anticipate ever having to retain a criminal defense attorney. It just goes to show what the decision to drink and drive can cost you.