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Civil case follows criminal conviction of drunk hit-and-run driver

A woman from Ann Arbor has been sentenced to a minimum of 14 months in jail (with a maximum of 38 months) after she plowed into a bicyclist only to speed away after the accident. She had a blood alcohol content measured at 0.24

The 44-year-old woman lessened the penalties against her by pleading guilty to one DUI-related charge and no contest to another. Both those charges involved offenses that caused "serious bodily injury." The third criminal charge relating to her DUI hit-and-run was dropped.

However, the legal issues for the woman will not end with her criminal conviction. The bicyclist who was struck in this terrible accident has brought civil action against her. He was left seriously injured at the scene; and since the woman did not stop to help the driver during the wait for emergency responders, the bicyclist suffered further medical complications that have resulted in impairments to parts of his body and permanent disfigurement, according to the lawsuit.

Given the serious injuries dealt to the bicyclist, the woman's gross intoxication and her extreme negligence, the civil case has a very good chance of succeeding for the bicyclist.

Sometimes, though, the offender in a drunk driving accident is not the only party responsible for the crash. Dram shop liability cases can arise, where a bar, restaurant or other establishment is held responsible for continuing to serve an intoxicated individual. If, in this case, the woman was at an establishment that served liquor prior to her drunk hit-and-run accident, the establishment would certainly be liable, given the woman's clear intoxication (her BAC levels were three times the legal Michigan limit of 0.08).

Source: AnnArbor.com, "Ann Arbor woman to be sentenced in drunken hit-and-run accident; also faces lawsuit," John Counts, Oct. 22, 2012

  • Victims of DUI accidents or hit-and-run accidents deserve justice. When both circumstances occur in a single accident, the victim needs aggressive representation that will earn them the compensation necessary to recover from their injuries. To learn more, please visit our Ann Arbor drunk driving accident page.

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