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Arkansas woman sentenced to 18 years for fatal DWI crash

A 24-year-old woman was sentenced to 18 years in prison after entering guilty pleas to negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated and first-degree battery in an Arkansas court. The woman will have to serve a minimum of three years before reaching parole eligibility, as she was sentenced as a persistent DWI offender. When she is released, she will have to follow all conditions of a 10-year suspended sentence.

The accident occurred on February 28, 2014, when the woman was driving her SUV on an interstate. As she was driving through a construction zone, she reportedly lost control of the vehicle and crashed. A 51-year-old man was struck and killed by another car when he went to try to help the woman and her passenger.

When police arrived, they reportedly noticed a strong odor of alcohol and found a box of beer bottles, some opened, in the back of the SUV. Subsequent blood testing of the woman revealed she had a blood alcohol content of .24 percent, an amount that is three times the legal limit in the state. In 2010, the woman had pleaded guilty to three counts of assault in another DWI accident and had spent shock time in the Missouri Department of Corrections before being released on a five-year period of supervised probation.

When someone is wrongfully killed in a motor vehicle accident because of the negligent or reckless actions of a driver, the deceased person's family may be able to pursue civil liability against the driver in addition to any criminal consequences the driver faces. Families may be able to recover both compensatory and punitive damages from the driver due to their actions. A personal injury attorney may be able to review the individual facts of a case to determine potential claims.

Source: emissourian.com, "Woman Gets 18 Years in Wildwood Man’s Death", October 10, 2014

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