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Lake County community leader sentenced in DUI case

A prominent civic leader from Lake County, Florida, has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for DUI manslaughter in relation to a motorcycle accident. The man was accused of causing the wrongful death of a motorcyclist after striking him with his car and throwing him from his vehicle in 2009. When police arrived on the scene, they reported seeing a half empty container of alcohol in the leader's car.

The case drew attention after numerous individuals attended a hearing in September to ask the judge to be lenient in the leader's sentencing. The maximum sentence the leader could have received was 15 years in prison, with his lawyers requesting a sentence of four years, the minimum sentence for DUI manslaughter. The prosecution argued that the suspect should be sentenced in accordance with the law, and should not be given preferential treatment due to his status in the community.

The judge agreed with the prosecution, explaining that he wanted to make sure the victim's family was given justice before announcing that Lake County man would be sent to prison for 124 months. The man plans to speak on the dangers of drunk driving following his release from prison.

This tragic case clearly illustrates two major problems with the way some motorists drive. First, and most obvious, drunk driving is a serious form of negligence that — as we saw in this crash — can cause immense harm and devastation. Second, motorcycle accidents are far too frequent. Many drivers claim they are unable to see a motorcycle on the road. However, simply taking the time to look over their shoulder before making a lane change, or double checking cross streets before pulling out of a driveway or intersection can go a long way toward preventing motorcycle accidents.

Source: CF News 13, "Civic leader Bruce Duncan gets 10 years in prison for deadly DUI crash," Dave D'Marko, Sept. 30, 2011

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