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Texas woman pleads guilty to intoxication manslaughter

In Sept. 2011, a Texas woman left a bar in Austin with her 22-year-old companion. She drove the wrong way down Ben White Road and drove head-on into a delivery truck. Her passenger was killed in the car accident. It was not stated whether either driver was injured when the vehicles collided.

The woman reportedly turned herself in to local police and was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and intoxication manslaughter. The woman, now 24 years old, appeared in court on May 2 to enter a guilty plea.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

The judge sentenced her to two ten-year terms of probation, including 120 days of incarceration in the county jail. The woman will have an interlock device on her car for five years to prevent her from drunk driving in the future.

When a person pleads guilty in a criminal case, evidence of the plea is admissible in a related civil case as conclusive proof that the person behaved negligently. That means that any time a person is convicted of drunk driving, victims injured in the accident can use court records in a civil court to seek damages. It is not possible for a person to present evidence of careful driving despite driving drunk. Family members of a person who is killed by a drunk driver may be able to recover damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost earning potential and the loss of the community and companionship of the deceased person. A Texas personal injury attorney may be able to assist with obtaining copies of court documents, negotiating a settlement with insurance companies or filing a lawsuit to obtain compensation for those who have been injured in an accident.

Source: KHOU, "Woman pleads guilty to 2011 fatal drunk driving crash", May 14, 2013

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