Alejandro Correa wasn’t thinking when he got behind the wheel on June 3rd after a night of drinking. He wasn’t paying attention either. Investigators say that Correa didn’t even hit the brakes before careening into the back of a Toyota Corolla that was stopped at a red light. The Toyota was occupied by Benjamin Frias and his wife Giselle Batista. Batista was pronounced dead on the scene. Frias was rushed to the hospital, where he died two days later. Correa, only twenty years old, had to be pulled from the wreckage that once was his Dodge Charger.
In a statement to reporters, Correa explained, “I feel awful. I am very sorry.” Correa, charged with DUI manslaughter, posted bail shortly after the accident. He walked out with his arm in a sling, the only injury he sustained from the fatal accident.
Drunk Driving: Common Despite the Dangers and Costs
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 1.5 million people are arrested for driving while intoxicated each year. Of those arrests, about 1400 result in a fatality. All fifty states have enacted zero-tolerance laws, meaning that those under 21, like Correa, are not legally allowed to have any amount alcohol on their breath while driving. Florida, like many states, has a .08 BAC (blood alcohol content) limit for adults.
The penalties can be stiffer than the drink that got the driver drunk. The average cost of defending against a DUI criminal arrest is $8,000. On top of that, factor in up to 50 hours of mandatory community service. If anyone was hurt in the accident there is a two year minimum prison sentence.
Note that this is only to defend against the criminal DUI charge brought by the State of Florida and does not take into account any civil actions brought by the victims. These civil damages can be quite substantial, dwarfing those of the criminal penalties in some cases.
Injured by a Drunk Driver?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver’s negligence, we understand this is an incredibly difficult time. The grieving process is important. But when you are ready to seek justice, please, give one of our experienced attorneys a call. They are knowledgeable in all laws surrounding automobile accidents, and can help you seek monetary compensation for your loss.
After a traumatic accident the last thing you want to think about is paperwork and insurance companies. But these things must be taken care of. Our dedicated team of expert auto accident attorneys can help you navigate the stressful and often complex system. We will make sure that no stone is left unturned.
Not quite ready to make that call? Go ahead and visit our website. There you can read up on our talented legal staff as well as learn some helpful information about the post-accident process, including who pays for what in an auto accident situation. And remember, because we work on a contingent-fee basis, you will not be billed for our services unless we recover for you.