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Families should never have to know the pain of losing a loved one to a drunk driver. Unfortunately, many car accidents in this state are frequently caused by impaired driving. A family who lost a loved one a quarter-century ago in a drunk driving accident here in Connecticut recently spoke about their tragedy and how new state laws have changed since that time to help other families.

Two sisters talked about the death of their father at the hands of an alleged drunk driver. Their dad was nearing retirement and planning on moving out of state with his wife. At the time of the accident, he was driving home and struck by a car. Both drivers were partially ejected from their cars and died. The autopsy of the man who was accused of causing the accident revealed he was intoxicated.

Since this accident happened, Connecticut has implemented tougher laws regarding drunk drivers, including the governor signing a new law to require a special device called an ignition interlock to be placed in the cars of first-time offenders. These devices will measure a driver’s blood alcohol level and prevent the car from starting if they are intoxicated. When the law goes into effect in Jan. 2015, the devices could be placed in cars of those who are convicted of drunk driving — even if they have never been convicted of DUI before. There are also other existing harsher punishments for those who repeatedly drive drunk.

Car accidents resulting from impairment can all too easily result in injury or fatality. Although this tragedy happened several years ago, it is a reality for many Connecticut families today. An accident like this one could lead a family to file a civil lawsuit against a responsible party. A successful claim could result in monetary relief for those who are hurt or lose loved ones.

Source: registercitizen.com, “25 years later, family reflects on death caused by drunk driver and new, tougher laws“, Isaac Avilucea, June 28, 2014

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