Judge suspends prison for woman charged in pedestrian accident

In spite of the efforts to educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving, too many motorists still drink and drive. Though impaired drivers never intend to cause harm to an innocent person, the fact remains that countless families have been shattered by the loss of loved ones in these senseless crashes. Recently, a Minnesota judge suspended the four-year prison sentence imposed for the death of a victim in a pedestrian accident.

The fatal collision occurred last June. According to the police report, a 58-year-old woman was driving along County Road 101 in Plymouth. The report indicated that the driver inexplicably veered across two lanes of traffic, after which her vehicle went over the curb and struck a pedestrian. The victim died at the scene. Officers stated that the driver failed to successfully complete field sobriety tests, and a breathalyzer recorded a blood alcohol level of .108. 

The driver was charged with three counts of criminal homicide by vehicle for which she initially pleaded not guilty. Later, the woman pleaded guilty to one count as part of plea deal. The judge imposed a sentence of confinement to the county workhouse for one year; however, after 150 days, the woman's sentence could be converted to home monitoring. She is also required to serve 60 months on probation and speak at approximately 20 Mothers Against Drunk Driving lectures to help educate others about the tragedy of impaired driving.

The sentence also included a 48-month prison term that the judge suspended for five years provided the woman follows the conditions of her probation. The woman conveyed her apologies to the victim's family for the pain and loss that she caused. Regardless of the efforts for convicted drivers to make amends for the harm they have caused, nothing can repair all of the damages they have left in their wake. Victims of a Minnesota pedestrian accident -- or their survivors -- may have recourse to recover some of their monetary damages through a successful civil lawsuit.

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