Today in the 240th District Court in Fort Bend County, a driver who was under the influence when he caused a wreck and then fled the scene, was hit himself — with a Judgment of $275,084.26. In June of 2008 a drunk hit our client as she was stopped at a stop sign and then fled the scene. The DPS later arrested him for DUI and fleeing the scene of a wreck. Despite numerous letters and offers to resolve the matter, the Defendant refused to cooperate and the Court entered a default judgment as to liability and then after all the evidence was presented awarded our clients their damages. The judgment included $250,000.00 for punitive damages due to the intoxicated assault and malice in the Defendants actions.
The drunk driver had prior DUI’s and one DUI after he hit our client. He was excluded from the insurance on the truck according to the insurance company, so no coverage. It is clear that jail does not seem to change his attitude; hopefully a multimillion dollar judgment against him will convince him to stop drinking and driving.
We have previously proposed anyone convicted of a DUI be required to have and maintain insurance coverage of at least $100k to get their license back and have an interlock in their car. If they are stopped and found not to have valid coverage it would be a probation violation. The combination of an interlock and insurance coverage can not stop them from driving drunk, but it would hopefully make it more difficult and provide the people they injure with some compensation for their injuries.
Driving while drunk is not always some other guy or other family. Driving drunk not only can hurt others, but can have serious life changing impacts on the your life, including being arrested, losing your job and having a criminal conviction. Think before you drink and drive.
What are your thoughts?
A year ago today, December 16, 2008, a drunk driver, Mr. John Winne hit and killed a 13 year Nicole Lalime as she got off her school bus in front of her home. After hitting her he left her in the street and fled the scene. The world is a sadder place because of someone who decided to drive drunk. You can help stop drunk driving. Take the keys or take a cab, but don’t allow drunk driving.
Today we settled a case in which a drunk driver killed the mother of a one year old boy. It was her 3rd DUI and she was driving with a suspended license. She is now in prison. If you have a story about a drunk driver, post it here. In the next few weeks I will have some videos, comments, etc. regarding drunk driving and the impact it has on everyone involved.