The 22-year-old man from Ohio who announced that he was driving drunk at the time that he caused a car accident received his sentence. The fatal accident occurred on June 22 and claimed the life of a 61-year-old man.
The man had posted a video on YouTube on Sept. 3 in which he confessed to driving drunk and killing the man. A few days after making the confession, he surrendered himself to authorities. His appearance in front of the court was on Oct. 23. The man said that he was sorry for his actions and that he did not remember the night of the accident because he had blacked out due to consuming too much alcohol. He said that he knew that he deserved any sentence that he received and the true punishment was living. He said that he had not drank anything since the accident and had gone to rehab.
The judge read two letters as part of the proceedings. One was from the victim's ex-wife who said that her former husband would not want both lives lost due to the accident. The other letter was from a victim of a different drunk driving accident. He said that the defendant showed courage by admitting to his mistakes on the video.
The victim's daughter, however, said that society should not receive the message that if a person kills someone from drunk driving, he or she should not get away with it. The man pleaded guilty to causing the wrong-way crash in September and received a sentence of 6.5 years. The maximum sentence was 8.5 years.
According to statistics, those who are caught driving drunk for the first time have done so an average of 80 times before they were caught. If the family of a drunk driving victim feels that a jail sentence is not enough for the offender, they may choose to file an additional wrongful death claim.
Source: CNN, "Man who confessed to drunken driving in viral video gets 6½ years", Kisa Mlela Santiago, October 24, 2013