Florida man pleads guilty in fatal DUI accident
Thousands of Florida residents are affected by drunk driving accidents each year. Those victims deserve compensation for their injuries. Recently, a Florida man accused of causing a car accident that left four people dead has plead guilty to one count of DUI with serious bodily injury and four counts of DUI manslaughter. The victims were a 51-year-old Orlando man and his three sons. The 22-year-old suspect admitted to driving drunk at his trial. The families of the victims issued a statement requesting privacy, but are expected to speak at the sentencing.
According to police, the serious car accident occurred in 2010 after the suspect had been drinking beverages that contain high amounts of both caffeine and alcohol. He was reportedly traveling at approximately 80 mph when he failed to stop for a red light, colliding with the victims' vehicle and killing 4 of its occupants.
The judge informed the suspect that because there was no arranged plea bargain, his guilty plea put him "at the mercy of the court." The suspect will face a minimum sentence of 44 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. However, the suspect's attorney explained he would request a lighter sentence, due to the suspect's young age, clean criminal record and remorse for the fatal accident.
The accident made the headlines in the midst of a national debate regarding the safety of alcoholic energy drinks. Several months following the crash, the producers of the beverage the suspect consumed on the night of the crash stopped including caffeine in their product.
But the responsibility still falls on the man who chose to consume the drinks and then get behind the wheel. Drinks that contain alcohol are dangerous no matter what.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, "St. Petersburg man pleads guilty in DUI crash that killed four," Curtis Krueger, June 6, 2012