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Is 1 year in jail enough time for vehicular manslaughter arising from drunk driving?

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James E. Ballidis
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In Los Angeles County Superior Court, a drunk driver was sentenced to one year in jail for an incident occurring in January 2008. Roger Avery pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter when he was intoxicated and wrapped his automobile around a tree at 100 miles an hour. In his car was his friend Andreas Zini along with Avery's wife. Mr. Zini died in the collision and the family apparently received a civil judgment or settlement award of $4.1 million.

Mr. Avery was also given five years of probation. The important question to ask is whether the amount of jail time was sufficient to send a strong message to drunk drivers.

In every case, the driver is always remorseful, reflecting the lack of appreciation for the potential injury. As Mr. Avery stated “This accident profoundly altered me to the very core of my being.”  Of course this does little to reverse the effects of the accident.

Drunk driving deaths are continuing to occur needlessly, and very little has changed with the prosecution of people associated with such collisions. One year of jail time for drunk driving and causing a death seems sufficient for a prominent citizen in the community, but does it really send the right message for all who will climb behind a wheel in the future? 

Our society is not made up of children that cannot determine risk, but adults with discernment.  We should understand the consequences of our behavior. This California personal injury attorney is of the opinion that more jail time was warranted, because not only was Mr. Avery impaired, but he was traveling at such a high rate of speed, an accident was likely to occur. 

Avery is famous for writing Pulp Fiction, the screenplay directed by Quentin Tarantino. Maybe during his year of incarceration he can write a screenplay that will profoundly change, to the very core, the mind of each every person seated in his next movie about the deaths caused by drunk drivers.

James Ballidis is a California personal injury attorney specializing in Los Angeles and Orange County automobile accidents. You can call our firm for your accident needs at 1-866-981-5596.

Category: Car Accidents

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