The man pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated driving under the influence in connection with the crash last year in Riverside. He crossed into oncoming traffic and struck an SUV head-on. It was his third DUI conviction.
Test results found he had a blood-alcohol level of .24 — three times the legal limit in Illinois — and cocaine in his system. The accident happened about 10:40 p.m. last March 29, when he slammed into the SUV at First Avenue and 31st Street.
A 57-year-old woman was killed. Her 63-year-old sister and 45-year-old brother were both seriously injured and required multiple surgeries and physical therapy after the crash, according to the State Attorney’s Office.
Members of the victims’ family told the media that the sentence was not nearly enough for the pain caused to the family.
“It’s ridiculous,” a daughter of one of the victims said. “It’s nowhere near enough time to justify what he did.”
The defendant must serve 85 percent of the 8 1/2-year sentence. If he had been found guilty at trial, the maximum sentence could have been 14 years.
As we reported last fall on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog, someone is killed in a drunk driving accident every 45 minutes nationwide.
In Illinois, 1 in 3 fatal accidents involves a drunk driver; In 2008, a total of 362 motorists died in fatal drunk driving accidents of the 1,043 Illinois traffic fatalities recorded that year, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.