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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Drunk driver's plea deal includes prison, payback and probation

The prosecution and defense did not argue that a 60-year-old driver was legally drunk at the time of a fatal car accident. Both agreed the Town of Scott driver had too much to drink at the Ridge Runners Sportsman's Club before he got behind the wheel last spring.

A 68-year-old Crivitz man died in the drunk driving motor vehicle accident on state Highway 28 near Cascade last May. The defense attempted to prove the air bag in the accused driver's car contributed to the tragedy by inflating in advance of the deadly crash.

The Town of Scott man apparently slammed into three road signs without slowing down, before weaving back onto the highway and crossing the middle line into the path of a pickup truck. An assistant district attorney argued that the defendant was driving with a blood alcohol reading that was almost double the 0.08 state limit. The accused man's BAC level was 0.15.

The charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle carries a possible prison term of 15 years. Prosecutors pushed for a plea deal consisting of a 10-year prison sentence and five years of probation.

The defendant pleaded no contest and received a one-year jail term with work release and a decade of probation to follow. A Sheboygan County judge ordered the convicted man to perform community service, submit to counseling and pay restitution of more than $8,600 to the crash victim's family.

The judge placed a stay on a three-year jail sentence, which would kick in if the defendant violated the terms of probation.

Defense attorneys painted a picture of the accused that showed a "good" person who made a "tragically bad decision" to drink and drive.

The man who died in the drunk-driving accident was on the verge of retirement when he was struck and killed. Relatives testified that the victim was a father of six and a grandfather of 10.

Source: sheboyganpress.com, "Sheboygan man gets 1 year jail in fatal OWI crash," Josh Lintereur, April 4, 2012

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