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Repeat offender admits guilt in DUI car accident

Patricia M. Jarzobski

Fewer things are harder for a Colorado family to accept than the serious injury of a loved one due to drunk driving. While there are inherent risks associated with driving and road travel, drunk driving accidents are entirely preventable. When a choice is made to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, the repercussions can be deadly. A serious car accident can forever change the lives of those involved, and leave them with significant emotional and financial harm.

A DUI accident recently came before a Colorado court when the driver entered a guilty plea in relation to a horrific wrong-way crash that took place in July 2012. After a night of heavy drinking, the man crashed into a car containing a young couple who were heading home after one finished a work shift. The 56-year-old driver claimed responsibility for two counts of vehicular assault while driving under the influence, as well as two counts of vehicular assault, reckless driving and driving while under the influence and a charge of wring-way driving. This is the fourth DUI conviction for the driver.

The guilty pleas are the result of an agreement with prosecutors that will guarantee that the driver will spend no more than 15 years in prison in relation to the drunk driving accident. One of the victims remains hospitalized in critical condition, and may not survive injuries sustained in the crash. However, as a result of the plea deal, no charge of vehicular homicide will be possible if a fatality occurs.

For the families of this young couple, the fact that the man has admitted his guilt in the car accident brings a measure of satisfaction. However, they retain the right to pursue him in civil actions, which could help them to recover the costs associated with the medical care required as a result of this crash. In addition, should the young man lose his life, a wrongful death suit is possible.

Source: Colorado Daily, "Dean Carlson, repeat DUI offender, pleads guilty in wrong-way crash north of Boulder," Mitchell Byars, Nov. 29, 2012

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