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Florida driver gets just 5 years for DUI death

Florida residents deserve to feel safe on the roads, free from worry that an intoxicated driver will cause them injury or even kill them. One Florida man is now paying the price for his role in a serious car accident in May 2012 that involved both speeding and drunk driving. That negligent driver, age 50, pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the case on Nov. 6, receiving a relatively light five-year prison term.

Official reports show that the man killed a 29-year-old driver when he smashed into the victim's vehicle from behind. The victim had been stopped at a traffic signal. Authorities say the at-fault driver was traveling at nearly 70 miles per hour in an area with a 45 mile per hour speed limit. In addition, tests related to the case showed that the man's blood alcohol content was 0.076 percent about four hours after the crash. The man was almost certainly intoxicated at the time of the collision, based on that analysis.

The victim in the case was driving home from work when the crash occurred at about 1 a.m. on May 11, 2012. He was a graduate of the University of Florida.

Not only will the driver serve a five-year prison term, but he will also be required to surrender his driver's license for the rest of his natural life. He is also slated to serve a 10-year probation term and perform 1,000 hours of community service in connection with the wreck. Family members in the case were outraged that the driver did not submit a formal apology, and they pushed for the maximum sentence in the case.

Relatives may feel as though the death of their family member was in vain because of the light prison sentence handed down by this judge. In this and other personal injury cases, family members can seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver, providing another measure of justice for the negligent vehicle operator. Funds can be recovered for funeral costs, pain and suffering, wrongful death and a variety of other claims.

Source: staugustine.com, "Five-year sentence in vehicular manslaughter death" Stuart Korfhage, Nov. 07, 2013

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