Every year, hundreds of people are killed in traffic accidents across the country. Many of these automobile accidents are caused by motorists who drink and drive. Here in Maryland, it’s not uncommon to see news stories about drunk drivers who cause serious as well as fatal injuries to occupants of other vehicles due to driving under the influence of alcohol. As a personal injury lawyer in the Baltimore area, I have seen the aftermath of these kinds of alcohol-related wrecks.
It make no difference whether you drive a passenger car, pickup truck, sport utility vehicle (SUV) or minivan, a serious collision can turn your life upside down. If you are a breadwinner for your family, being injured in a car crash will impact your household income due to lost wages as well as medical costs during recovery. A fatal crash can have devastating affect on families in Annapolis, Owings Mills, the District, and other communities around the state.
Not long ago, a Maryland resident was sentenced to nine years in jail for the fatal drunk driving death of an area mom. According to the news, the crash that killed 28-year-old Cristina L. Palese occurred on March 21, 2009, during the victim’s drive home from work at the Cadillac Ranch restaurant at National Harbor, MD.
Heading to her house in Springfield, the mother of two was nearing the Van Dorn Street exit on the inner loop when her Nissan Sentra was hit head-on by a Lincoln LS sedan driven by Travis J. Isaac, 26, of Woodbridge. Palese was killed instantly, while Isaac sustained a compound fracture to his leg. When his blood alcohol level was measured it came to 0.16 percent — which is twice the legal limit in this state.
Issac, who already had a previous drunken driving conviction, was traveling the wrong way on the Capital Beltway when he killed Palese. The jury reportedly took two hours to convict Isaac for the offense that could have sent him to jail for a maximum of 20 years. During the sentencing phase the jury took nearly three hours to impose the nine-year jail sentence. According to the news reports, Isaac will be eligible for release when he is 33.
Drunk driver gets 9 years in fatal wrong-way Beltway crash, WashingtonPost.com, January 8, 2010