A military veteran believed to have been exposed to Agent Orange during his service has a history of alcohol abuse and mental instability. As a result, he has a criminal record that includes multiple DUIs. That was not what recently got him sentenced to five years in prison, however. That sentence is for the DUI-related death of a woman in Maryland.
On Dec. 28, 2012, a then 72-year-old Maryland woman had dinner with a friend. A .18 blood alcohol concentration indicates she had also been drinking when she got into her vehicle to leave the restaurant. For a reason that may never be known, she got out of her SUV as she was about to exit the parking lot. Video surveillance shows the woman's SUV, which was still in gear, rolled into the four-lane street and stopped only when it struck a light pole.
The woman staggered into the street, presumably to catch her SUV. It was then that the Vietnam veteran struck her at approximately 58 mph, and it appeared he made no attempt to stop. His blood-alcohol level was reportedly .08 at the time of the accident. His statements to police did not match those given by witnesses at the scene.
The Maryland judge in this DUI-related death actually sentenced the man to prison for seven years. However, two of those years were suspended to give the man the opportunity to seek help from a yearlong VA rehabilitation program upon his release from prison. Fortunately, the judge did not feel he was beyond help even though he was sentenced to serve some time for the woman's death. In similar cases, accused individuals may be able to seek plea deals or lesser sentences depending upon the facts of their specific situations.
Source: delmarvanow.com, Driver sentenced in Pocomoke hit-and-run death, No author, Feb. 10, 2014