A family from Falls Church, Virginia, lost three young children in an alleged drunk driving accident late last year. A judge recently sentenced the driver who reportedly struck their vehicle with his own to 22 years in prison, followed by five years of probation.
The crash occurred in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on a December evening shortly after Christmas 2018. The family of five, immigrants to the United States from El Salvador, was reportedly returning home after attending church services. The other driver apparently struck the rear of the family's sedan with his pick-up. He reportedly admitted to drinking 10 beers while watching a football game. Test results revealed a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit at 0.17%.
The impact of the crash killed the three children, a 1-year-old boy and his brother and sister (5-year-old twins), immediately. Their mother also sustained serious injuries in the crash. These include an undisclosed neck injury that required her to wear a brace and five broken ribs that, per her report, caused her physical pain when crying over the loss of her children.
The driver faced a potential maximum penalty of 36 years. At his sentencing last Thursday, he pledged to work to educate the public about drunk driving dangers. He also expressed an enduring feeling of guilt that he anticipates will stay with him for the rest of his life.
The courts take DUI very seriously, especially when children come to harm as a result. An individual facing drunk driving charges may find it worthwhile to discuss the case with an attorney.