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Driver sentenced in Maryland DUI-related death

On Jan. 22, police were called to the scene of a single car accident. When they arrived, they found a severely damaged vehicle in the front yard of a residence and a man near the vehicle in the grass. The preliminary investigation into this Maryland DUI-related death led to the arrest of the driver on several felony counts.

According to investigative reports, the driver lost control on a curve, crossed into the opposing lane and went off the road. The vehicle then left the ground and rolled numerous times when it landed. As the pickup truck rolled, the passenger crashed through the rear window of the vehicle.

An accident reconstruction estimated the driver was going over 60 mph in a 35 mph zone. Toxicology tests indicated the woman's blood alcohol level was .17 that night. She had admitted to consuming alcohol before driving the vehicle at the scene.

On Aug. 5, the woman pleaded guilty to one count of negligent manslaughter. She was sentenced to a prison term of 10 years. However, eight-and-a-half years of the sentence were suspended and she received credit for 102 days of time served. She will serve the remainder of the 10-year sentence in a Maryland prison and then be on supervised probation for five years.

This woman was originally facing several felony charges in connection with this DUI-related death. Her prison sentence would have been significantly longer had she been convicted of all charges. Instead, she was able to make an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to one charge, have the rest dropped and only serve a maximum of 18 months in prison (over three months of which she served while awaiting trial). With the seemingly overwhelming evidence against the woman in this case, this plea agreement most likely served the best interests of the woman and her family.

Source: somdnews.com, Woman sentenced to 18 months for crash that killed Owings man, Sara Newman, Dec. 6, 2013

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