Despite all of the laws and awareness campaigns pertaining to driving under the influence, it’s ultimately up to each individual to decide whether or not he or she has consumed too much and shouldn’t get behind the wheel in Illinois. For some people, having one or two drinks at dinner may not be enough to significantly impair them from operating a motor vehicle. But it’s hard to apply that same logic if a person drinks five beers – and smokes marijuana as well.
Sadly, one man apparently thought that such a combination wasn’t enough to dissuade him from driving last month – and another man has paid the ultimate price for that decision. On Sunday, November 10, a 19-year old Normal man was driving his vehicle in which an 18-year old man was a passenger. The vehicle crashed near the intersection of Raab and Parkside Roads in Normal, just west of Heartland Community College and just east of Interstate 74. The 18-year old man from Somonauk died in the auto accident.
The driver told police that he had consumed five glasses of beer and smoked pot at a party earlier in the evening. He was arrested for aggravated DUI and several other offenses.
As it stands right now, the surviving relatives of the 18-year old have solid grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Normal man. This may allow them to collect reimbursement for hospital and burial costs, monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of companionship, and estimated future wages that the teen would have earned in his lifetime. Furthermore, if authorities can determine who hosted the party where the underage driver drank beer and ingested drugs, it’s possible that the individual could also be named as a defendant in the suit under the Illinois Dram Act.