Maryland Man Convicted of Alcohol-related Vehicular Homicide Gets Another 6 Years for Drinking Again

Drinking and driving subjects everyone on the road to potential danger involving traffic accidents with injuries or even fatal car crashes. As Maryland personal injury attorneys and automobile accident lawyers, I and my colleagues work to help the victims of car accidents caused by another individual’s negligent behavior. Getting behind the wheel when intoxicated is one way to kill or hurt other drivers and passengers on the road.

According to a recent article, a 43-year-old alcoholic will get another six years in prison for taking a drink at a local gas station. Whether or not this was a so-called “moment of weakness,” the description would mean very little to a person injured by this man, should he not have been caught by police. According to news reports, the man was on probation after being convicted for automobile manslaughter back in 2005, but even that episode in his life didn’t seem to make enough of an impression to keep him from taking a sip of an alcoholic beverage.

Based on reports, Michael Thomas Spears pled guilty to violating his probation, which in this man’s case was spelled out as abstaining from alcohol. In his original vehicular manslaughter trial, it was argued that Spears’ negligence resulted in the death of 92-year-old Berkman Gatton and the partial blinding James Nichols, son of the elderly man.

At the time of his death, Gatton, who was a great-grandfather of 19, and his son were taken by helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Gatton died as a result of injuries sustained in the wreck while Nichols lost sight in one of his eyes.

Spears, reportedly a career criminal, had received probation on nine separate occasions over the years for various crimes only to violate that probation 11 times — according to court records those violations happened multiple times in more than one case.

1 drink yields 6 years in prison,, September 14, 2010

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