A 30-year old man from Howell, New Jersey recently pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter in a case where he crashed into a marked police vehicle while intoxicated, killing a police officer. The car accident occurred in October of 2011, when the man lost control of his vehicle while driving intoxicated along the I-80 highway. The officer inside the car died of injuries sustained from the accident.

The drunk driver was charged with one count of aggravated manslaughter and one count of driving under the influence. For his role in the fatal drunk driving accident the man was eligible to receive up to 20 years in prison supervised parole, fines and other penalties.

This case illustrates the danger to other vehicles on the road posed by intoxicated drivers. Police officers face dangers in the day-to-day operation of their job, but the death of the police officer in this case came entirely without warning. Intoxicated drivers can strike any driver at any time.

DUI accidents that involve a loss of life are treated more seriously than regular DUI accidents, a fact which is highlighted in this case by this man’s long prison sentence. This is because drunk driving accidents are a deadly threat to all motorists. In addition to the loss of life, drunk drivers are also responsible for massive amounts of property damage and medical and insurance bills. Fortunately, anyone injured in a drunk driving accident is entitled to pursue a personal injury judgment against the defendant for recklessness or negligence, as well as financial compensation in the form of monetary damages.

Source: Howell Patch, “Drunk Driver Pleads Guilty to Killing Cop,” Ariana Cohn-Sheeran, Jan. 5, 2013