Drunk driver faces sentencing for hitting disable man
Drunk drivers who injure pedestrians can spend a long, long time in jail. Depending on past arrests, blood-alcohol content, and the extent of the injuries incurred, drunk drivers can sometimes be sentenced to more than twenty years in jail for their crimes. That’s why someone who is arrested for DUI in Pittsburgh needs an experienced attorney who understands criminal law and who can ensure they are fairly treated in the courtroom. Earlier this week, a 55-year-old man from Westmoreland County was found guilty of aggravated assault while under the influence of alcohol and hit-and-run. He may be sentenced up to seventeen years for the crimes. His poor decisions led to a crash that severely injured another man from Rostraver who was traveling along State Route 136 in his motorized wheelchair on 6 November 2012. The twelve person jury-eight men and four women-deliberated for more than three hours on Thursday afternoon before returning to Judge Bilik-DeFazio with the guilty verdicts The man was accused of being drunk and driving a motor vehicle when he struck the victim. The accident happened at around dusk on a dimly lit road. The victim was leaving his then gun shop and heading to his home next door. The victim and his wife did not attend the final day of the trial, but his wife did testify on the first day, telling jurors that her husband was wheelchair-ridden for eleven years after suffering from a number of strokes and that he finally was gaining some mobility back, having only used the motorized wheelchair for two days before he was hit by the drunk driver. White and his wife were not present for the verdict, but Barbara White testified on the first day of the three-day trial. She told jurors that her husband had used a wheelchair for 11 years after suffering a series of strokes and he had started to use the motorized chair two days before the crash. She told the jury that she found her husband unresponsive and laying on the side of the road after the accident. The accident caused broken ribs and a fractured pelvis bone. He had to have specialized care because of his previous condition. Prosecutors argued that the drunk driver knew he hit something or someone, but didn’t stop because he was drunk. Police eventually found the drunk driver at his home, two miles away from the scene of the accident. His BAC was at .30% when police tested him nearly two hours after the accident. The legal BAC level in PA in .08%. In his defense, the driver’s lawyer said that his client drank more when he got home and wasn’t that drunk when he hit the victim. He told the jury that his client thought he hit a deer and wanted to get home to assess the damage as quickly as possible. He also reminded the jury that because the motorized wheelchair is considered a "motor vehicle," the wheelchair should have had a headlight and reflectors attached. Police were able to track the driver by checking the serial number of debris left on the road from his vehicle. The driver will be sentenced in three months and faces up to seventeen years in jail. He is currently being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $50,000 bail. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, hit-and-run, or striking a pedestrian, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. Call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson today for a free consultation at 412-219-6875.