Beebe and O'Neil

Driver pleads not guilty to charges from drunk driving accident

When someone is killed by a drunk driver, friends and loved ones naturally want justice to be served quickly. But with lengthy investigations, crowded court dockets, and the defendant’s due process protections, it can take longer to find closure than victims and their families may expect.

That certainly seems to be the case in the matter of a man who recently pleaded not guilty in a Connecticut court arraignment for criminal charges relating to a fatal drunk driving accident that occurred almost one year ago. An arraignment is near the beginning of the criminal justice process, and this defendant remains free on a $200,000 bond until his next scheduled court appearance.

About one year ago two men were waiting for a taxi in a parking lot around 2:00 a.m. when they were struck by an alleged drunk driver who lost control of his truck as it entered a curve in the road. The truck careened into the parking lot and hit the men. One man was killed and the other was seriously injured. The driver had been heading home from a nearby casino after having drinks with friends.

The injured man, as well as the family of the deceased victim, has filed civil wrongful death lawsuits against the accused drunk driver and the tribe that owns the casino where the defendant was drinking. That lawsuit is also awaiting resolution.

Although the process of seeking compensation for personal injury or wrongful death caused by a drunk driver can be complicated and time-consuming, it can provide crucial information and a sense of closure to victims and their families, as well as the financial compensation they may deserve. Those who have been hurt by the actions of a drunk driver have the right to speak with an attorney who can give advice regarding the remedies that may be available, and the appropriate process to pursue them.

Source: New Haven Register, "Man pleads not guilty in fatal Connecticut crash," April 11, 2014

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