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Two injured in Florida crash caused by alleged drunk driver

A Lake County, Florida, man has pleaded no contest to DUI charges as well as to riding a motorcycle without a valid license. The 54-year-old man allegedly collided with the back of a minivan while on his motorcycle, causing the minivan to hit a bus in front of it. While no catastrophic injuries were sustained, the drivers of the bus and minivan were hurt in the crash. There were no students on the school bus at the time of the accident.

The suspect will be forced to take part in a treatment program designed to help DUI offenders. He also must pay court fees and the cost of probationary supervision. Finally, a judge ordered that he install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that he owns. This would require him to blow into a Breathalyzer before being able to turn on his car, thus preventing him from driving while impaired.

The motorcyclist attempted to flee the crash scene on foot, but was subdued by the driver of the minivan, who detained him until police arrived. The man was reportedly incoherent, prompting emergency medical staff to fly him to a regional medical center. Police drew his blood to determine his blood alcohol concentration, which was recorded at 0.426 -- more than five times Florida's legal limit. Police said the suspect's blood alcohol level was one of the highest they had seen in a living person.

Two months after the crash, the man was stopped by a deputy sheriff who saw him on his motorcycle and suspected that he may have been intoxicated. He was reportedly found to be driving with a suspended license, which stemmed from the school bus crash.

This case is another example of the serious danger that drunk drivers pose to not only themselves, but other Florida motorists. Two people were injured because of one man's negligence. While it is not clear if the two injured drivers required medical attention, many accident victims do. While such care is often necessary, it does not come without a price. Often people are not financially prepared to cover expensive medical costs. In such situations, some people may choose to seek compensation from the negligent driver.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Lake County man loses driving privileges after drunken crash with school bus," Stephen Hudak, Sept. 4, 2011

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