In 2014, nearly 10,000 people died and 290,000 people were injured in collisions with intoxicated drivers. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one person dies every 53 minutes in a drunk driving crash. Drinking and driving is a nationwide problem affecting every state, including Colorado. The CDC reported that between 2003 and 2012 there were "1,702 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Colorado." Nationwide, there were "over 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics" in 2014. However, many drunk drivers have driven intoxicated many times, 80 times on average, before they are ever arrested. Things like sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlocks can take some drunk drivers off the road but they don't stop everyone. And when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel that person puts their life and the lives of everyone around them at risk. Unfortunately, all to often tragedy strikes, as it did in Denver last month.
On July 13th, 81-year old Patricia Livingston was driving erratically on East Yale Avenue. She was reportedly "swerving in and out of opposing traffic." Livingston struck 14-year old Cole Sukle and his 13-year old friend who "were standing in the bike lane or sidewalk along the north curb of the roadway near South Madison Street." Livingston didn't stop her car after hitting the two boys, instead she continued driving all over the road for a few more blocks until "she left the roadway and came to rest in Robert H. McWilliams Park." Cole died and the other boy was injured in the crash. Livingston was also hospitalized.
Livingston was charged with "careless driving resulting in death and careless driving resulting in injury." However, the family of Sukle would never see her convicted as Livingston died 10 days after the accident. The medical examiner stated that she "died from complications of the blunt force injuries sustained in the crash." It was only after her death that it came out that Livingston was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Her blood alcohol content was reported by the Denver Post to be 0.135 when it was measured at the hospital after the accident.
This was not the first time in the past year that Livingston had been involved in an accident. Last October she was involved in a hit and run accident. She struck a "Dodge Ram 1500 that was stopped in traffic." Livingston "then fled the scene without calling police or exchanging information." She was not charged in that accident because the driver of the truck she hit "said she didn't 'want to press charges as the driver was an elderly woman.'" After the accident, Livingston's family had considered hiring her a driver and the family's spokesperson said that she did keep "driving on short, daytime trips to and from her home."
If you or a loved one has been the injured because of a drunk driver, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal today for a free case evaluation.