Chicago, IL- The dire consequences of driving while intoxicated is no more apparent that an accident that took place late last week in Chicago. Police say that the man who killed a 2 year-old girl in a drunken driving accident early Friday morning was three times the legal limit.
Early Friday morning, around 6:25 a.m., Ja’Mya Love was walking with her great-grandmother, who was pushing the girl’s younger brother in stroller to their daycare center in an Englewood neighborhood. The young toddler sprang from her great-grandmother into the road, the Chicago Tribune reported.
A man, later identified as Kellen Bledsoe, ran a stop sign and struck the young girl. He then crossed the center line, slammed into construction barriers and hit a couple of parked vehicles. Police said Bledsoe tried to flee the scene of the accident on foot after rendering his car was too damaged to drive. He was apprehended by police who were patrolling the area, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Ja’Mya was taken to Comer’s Children Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Bledsoe is now facing a variety of charges, including aggravated DUI involving death, driving without a license and driving without insurance.
Ja’Mya’s great-grandmother was “distraught” about the young girl’s death.
“She opened her eyes and then she closed her eyes and that was it. I knew she was already gone but I just kept hope. I just kept hope,” Pamela Thompson told WGN.
Bledsoe now has to fight some serious charges. If he is convicted of aggravated DUI involving death he can face anywhere from one year in jail to 14 years in jail. When a drunk driver kills more than two or more people in a DUI accident in Illinois they can face up to 28 years in jail.
In addition to the possible jail sentence, Bledsoe will also face a $25,000 fine is he is convicted of the charges. Police said his blood alcohol content was 0.25, three times the legal limit.
In cases where the victim is a child, prosecutors often seek the maximum jail sentence. However a DUI attorney with a strong defense can, in certain cases, argue to have potential jail time reduced. But it is difficult to argue for leniency in DUI cases where a person is killed, however, in simple DUI cases, which involve no injuries or death; it is much easier to ask for a lenient sentence.
Any DUI charge is serious, and the charged individual needs legal assistance to aide them with their defense even if they chose to plead guilty.
People who are charged with a DUI don’t realize the numerous ramifications of their actions. Even though a first DUI which doesn’t result in death or injury is considered a misdemeanor, a conviction can affect a person for years to come since it stays of their record indefinitely. This can affect future job prospects, college admissions and insurance premiums. The convicted DUI driver can also lose their license for several months to a year.