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Sentence handed down in Wisconsin DUI hit-and-run case

A man has been sentenced in a hit-and-run accident that occurred more than a year ago in Wisconsin. According to the criminal complaint, on May 5, 2012, the Duluth man rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped for a red light at an intersection in Douglas County. Although the other driver pulled over to exchange information with him, the 49-year-old man shrugged in her direction and left the scene. She followed his vehicle until he was stopped by an officer.

The officer reported that the alleged hit-and-run driver had bloodshot eyes and smelled of intoxicants when he was stopped and that he claimed to be unaware of hitting anyone. He admitted to having had two drinks. He did poorly on field sobriety tests, and his preliminary blood-alcohol level was 0.107 percent. Two people in the vehicle that was struck were injured in the auto accident, though sources do not indicate the severity of those injuries.

The man has pleaded no contest to one count misdemeanor causing injury while operating under the influence and one count felony hit-and-run involving injury. Other charges in the case were dismissed.

Penalties handed down by the Douglas County Circuit Court include a year of probation for operating intoxicated, a seven-month revocation of his driver's license, a requirement to attend a driver safety class, restitution and a $755 fine. He was also ordered to maintain complete sobriety. A three-month jail sentence was stayed; violation of any of the conditions of probation would activate it. The hit-and-run charge netted the man a deferred judgement of conviction agreement, which may be amended to hit and run-attended vehicle if he pays a fine and does not violate probation for one year.

Although penalties for a DUI conviction are severe, that may be small comfort for those injured in car accidents in Wisconsin. Individuals who have suffered personal injury through the fault of another may wish to explore their legal options for recompense with an experienced attorney. An attorney may be able to advise clients regarding the best course of action to take to claim the compensation to which they may be entitled.

Source: Superior Telegram, "Man sentenced after rear end crash", July 19, 2013

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