In a recent story by NBC 10, a 50-year-old man was convicted of driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle and a host of other charges. He was sentenced to eight to 17 years for his involvement in a serious motorcycle accident that left a 24-year-old dead. The Chester County crash happened over a year ago in April 2013 when the 50-year-old turned his pickup truck into oncoming traffic and the young motorcyclist.
Although this accident would be a tragedy on its own, what makes this crash especially difficult is that the drunk driver had been convicted of and arrested for numerous DUIs in the past. The article itself is not entirely clear on just how many arrests and convictions the man has had, but it ranges between five and 12. Even at the low end, five convictions for DUI is far too many.
There is a reason why drunk driving is illegal, not just in Pennsylvania, but in every state in the country -- it is incredibly dangerous. Not only do drunk drivers risk their own lives and the lives of their passengers, but they are also putting everyone on the road at risk. Alcohol, even in the smallest amounts, can have drastic effects on an individual's ability to drive safely. Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.28, the same level as this driver at the time of the crash, can only have a higher risk.
Though the driver did not have a valid license at the time of his accident, he would have had if he had filled out the necessary paperwork. This alone is frightening -- someone with five convictions for DUI can still apply for and receive a driver's license.
Source: NBC 10, "Man With 8 DUIs Sentenced for Fatal Crash," Dan Stamm and David Chang, May 7, 2014