When people go out for a drink at a Chicago restaurant or bar, they have a responsibility and a choice. Although they have a legal duty not to operate their vehicle under the influence of alcohol, many still make the choice to get behind the wheel when they are over the legal limit. Such choices can have tragic consequences, as revealed in two separate automobile accidents last week in the city.
In one car crash, police reports indicate that a 19-year-old man drove his car into a taxi after crossing into oncoming traffic in a South Side neighborhood. Five people suffered injuries that required treatment at a hospital, with three victims listed in at least serious condition. Some were diagnosed with head trauma, which can have potentially serious consequences. A test revealed that the driver’s blood alcohol content was 0.09, and prosecutors have charged him with aggravated drunk driving.
In another accident, two suspected drunk drivers collided, leaving the passenger in one of the cars dead. Another passenger required hospitalization. One driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.195 and also faces an aggravated drunk driving charge. In addition, she has been charged with driving without insurance and driving without a license. Police are still looking into the other driver’s role in the crash.
Drunk driving accidents are especially regrettable because they are preventable. In an instant, a person’s life can be changed permanently. Accident victims have a right to seek compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the negligence of another.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “2 charged in weekend DUI crashes that killed 1, injured 8,” Rosemary R. Sobol, Dan Hinkel and Peter Nickeas, April 22, 2012.