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Drunk driver sentenced for San Diego accident

Last week, a San Diego man received a criminal sentence of one year in a work furlough program in connection with a drunk driving accident that left a young woman with severe injuries. The man, who reportedly pleaded guilty to driving drunk last fall, was also sentenced to five years of probation and a five-year suspended jail sentence that will be imposed if he violates the terms of his probation.

According to police reports, the auto accident occurred in late August in Rancho Bernando. The man had reportedly been drinking alcohol on and off throughout the day, and was supposed to be in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the time of the crash. However, while driving over the speed limit at approximately 10 p.m., he crashed into the rear of the victim's car as it was stopped and waiting to make a left turn.

When police arrived on the scene of the accident, they found that the man smelled of alcohol, and that his speech was slurred. When police administered a blood alcohol test more than an hour after the accident, they found that the man had a blood alcohol content of 0.36 percent, which is more than four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The 19-year-old victim suffered broken ribs, a lacerated liver, and a hematoma in the crash. She was required to be on a ventilator, and continues to have migraine headaches every day as a result of the injuries she sustained in the accident.

However, the judge decided to impose a lenient sentence based on the defendant's lack of a prior record and his ability to pay restitution to the victim. The victim agreed with the sentence, stating that she did not want the defendant's children to suffer for their father's mistake.

Source: Fox 5 San Diego, "Drunk driver avoids prison for serious injury crash," Feb. 17, 2012

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