Few in Wisconsin would argue with the fact that it is a breach of a driver's duty of care to drink and drive. Most everyone is aware that the probability of being involved in a car accident can increase exponentially when a driver is drunk. Many people continue to lose their lives each year to drunk drivers.
An 81-year-old man lost his life last December when the van he was driving was slammed into by an SUV. The driver of that SUV was driven by a Wisconsin man that his now facing six felony charges in connection with the accident. Police say the SUV drifted into oncoming traffic directly into the path of the van driven by the elderly man. The two vehicles collided head-on.
Authorities determined that the driver that hit the van did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the accident. His driver's license had been suspended in connection with a 2011 drunk driving conviction. Toxicology results show that the man's blood alcohol content on the night of the accident was 0.285. The legal limit in Wisconsin is 0.08 which means that this man's blood alcohol level equates to approximately three-and-a-half times that limit.
Criminal charges may not be the only thing that brings the alleged drunk driver to court. The family of the deceased driver has the right to file a wrongful death action against him in civil court as well. If they are able to show that his actions caused or contributed to the death of their loved one, they may be awarded the costs and damages sustained in connection with their loved one's sudden death in this car accident. No amount of monetary compensation can make up for the loss this man's family has suffered, but it could give them a sense of peace that they sought justice on behalf of their loved one.
Source: 620wtmj.com, "Oshkosh man charged in fatal alcohol-related crash," Jaclyn Brandt, Feb. 7, 2013