A Rhode Island judge wanted to send a clear message to young people that he will not tolerate drunk and reckless driving in his home state. Chief Magistrate William Guglietta of the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal has handed out the harshest possible sentence to a 17-year-old after he crashed into a tree while DUI last October. The driver and three teenage passengers were fortunate to escape with their lives, but a 16-year-old male passenger was in a coma for weeks following the accident. All four teens had been drinking alcohol at a party just before the wreck.
The judge poured over photos of the wreckage before handing out the sentence that the driver of the car is banned from driving in the State of Rhode Island for the rest of his life. Judge Gugietta told news station KABC, “If you are going to drive dangerously in Rhode Island and you’re a young person, this court is going to respond accordingly. The law in this case allows this court to impose that penalty. If they think more stringent penalties are important for drunk driving, then I’m assuming at some point in time, those issues will be raised with the legislature.”
In addition to the DUI charge, the 17-year-old driver pled no contest to speeding, violating seat belt laws, and illegal passing. Charges concerning violation of a graduated driver’s license, of having more passengers than allowed, being out past curfew, leaving the lane of travel, and failure to maintain control of the vehicle were dropped.
For information about obtaining legal help after having been a victim of someone else’s recklessness or inattention while driving, visit us at http://www.robinettelaw.com or call our car accident lawyers at 304-594-1800 for help today.