Bristol, MA- A drunk driving accident over the weekend left one Middleboro teenager dead and led to the arrest of another young woman.
Last Saturday, at 2:09 a.m. Lakeville police were dispatched to the scene of an accident on Route 44. When they arrived they found two overturned vehicles, a Hyundai Accent and Dodge Ram.
Gordon College student, Monica Demello, 18, who was driving the Hyundai, its sole occupant, was pronounced dead on the scene, the Enterprise News reported.
Kathleen Allen, 23, also of Middleboro, was driving the Dodge with one passenger. Allen’s passenger, an unidentified female were flown to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the Enterprise News reported.
Allen, who was arraigned on Monday, was charged with vehicular homicide, drunken driving with negligence, drunken driving with serious injury, drunken driving, driving to endanger and lane violation.
Demello’s death came as a shock to her family and her fellow students who attended her tight knit Christian College. A Facebook page set up in her honor described Demello, a psychology major, as a “beautiful person,” the Salem News reported.
“We all love her, and we will all miss her,” the introduction read, “You’ve earned your Angel wings Monica, now fly over us all and protect us.”
If Allen is convicted of the vehicular manslaughter with negligence she could face up to 15 years in prison, for that charge alone.
People who drive drunk don’t truly intend to injure or kill others, but they do. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one-third of all fatal accidents are caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from 2008, 150 people were killed in Massachusetts.
People who drive under the influence do so because they don’t believe they are incapable of operating a vehicle. They don’t realize how alcohol or other drugs affect their ability to react in a hazardous situation and they often engage in risky behaviors like speeding, running red lights, and erratic lane changes.
Most intoxicated drivers have a false sense of security, since alcohol eliminates people’s inhibitions, they never think they will cause an accident or actually be arrested. Many don’t even realize they are drunk when they get behind the wheel; it takes just a few drinks to push someone over the legal limit.
Like the young woman in this accident, those arrested for intoxicated driving soon learn what an impact the charge will have on their life. Even a first DUI arrest carries a jail penalty and loss the loss of a driver’s license, along with remaining on your permanent record for 7 to 10 years.
In Massachusetts, a first OUI conviction can result in a jail term of 2.5 years and suspension of driver’s license for one year. Legal representation is crucial to anyone facing a DUI, since an attorney can help negotiate for reduced charges and penalties. With the help of a Bristol DUI attorney, offenders can beat a conviction altogether or avoid the worst of the penalties with the solid defense strategy.