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23-year-old woman receives 16-year prison sentence

On May 21, a drunk driving accident in Illinois led to a 16-year prison sentence for a 23-year-old woman who was convicted in the death of a Northwestern University student in 2012. The woman pleaded guilty to failure to report a deadly accident and aggravated DUI resulting in death. She will be credited for 236 days or about eight months that she had already spent in custody. State law requires her to serve a minimum of 85 percent of her sentence, and upon her release, she will be supervised in the community for 24 months.

The woman was behind the wheel of an SUV on March 24, 2012, when she reportedly hit the 32-year-old man who was in a crosswalk at the time. She allegedly continued to drive and then headed the wrong direction down the street. She was stopped by authorities a short time after the crash. The Cook County Medical Examiner reported that the man was pronounced dead at a nearby medical facility within 30 minutes. He was formerly a student at Northwestern Law School although he was on leave from school when the car accident happened.

The woman reportedly would not submit to sobriety tests at the accident scene. However, her blood alcohol content level later registered .168 percent after the crash, which was confirmed by court documents.

Even when someone is convicted for their role in a loved one's death, family members might want to hold them civilly responsible. A personal injury lawyer might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in order to recover available damages from the wrongdoer.

Source: NBC Chicago, "Woman Sentenced For DUI Crash That Killed NU Student ", May 22, 2014

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