The 52-year old man from Minnesota who was tried for the death of two sisters in a DUI crash near Grand Forks, North Dakota, has been sentenced to prison for 15 years after pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter. His drunk driving accident is believed to have caused the death of his co-worker and her sister.
New car destroyed
The accident occurred on May 17th when James G Yahnke took two sisters for a car drive in the night after a picnic he hosted for co-workers at his home. According to Yahnke’s son, his father took the sisters for the drive to show off his new car.
The crash killed Teja R Beyer, 21, his co-worker at a bus manufacturing company is Crookston, Minnesota, and her sister Mercedes D Rowley, 23.
Yahnke pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter and was awarded the 15-year prison term. In addition, he has been sentenced to ten years’ probation as well.
Far too fast; what are you thinking?
The 2014 Dodge Challenger was travelling at over 90 miles per hour on the Traill County Road 17 when it veered into a ditch and then hit an approach to a driveway, rolled and hit another approach. Police suspect that Yahnke was drunk when he was driving the vehicle. Why did the sisters get in the car?
The two sisters were thrown off the vehicle during the accident, leading the police to suspect that they either did not wear seat belts or the seat belts were improperly fastened. This would have caused them to be tossed out of the car, leading to their deaths. No seat belts! What?!
Court records show that Yahnke has a history of drunk driving with two convictions in the 1990s.
Family sources said that the two sisters were living together in order to help each other bring up their children. Rowley leaves behind two children under the age of three and Beyer had a child who was only five months old at the time of the accident. Rowley was working at a nursing home in Crookston. They were informed of the accident by Yahnke’s son who called them.
Legal Help after DUI Arrest
Drunk driving laws in North Dakota are very strict and those convicted of this can be awarded long prison terms, probation, and other penalties. If you have been charged with DUI, you need to immediately retain the services of an experienced DUI attorney who can assess the evidence against you and the circumstances of the accident and help reduce the severity of the penalties or get the case dismissed.
North Dakota law imposes harsh penalties for DUI which include prison time, driving license suspension, administrative penalties, and a fee for reinstatement of the driving license. In addition, DUI offenders can also be expected to attend alcohol education programs.
North Dakota considers those with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more as drunk drivers. Minors with BAC levels of 0.02 percent are considered drunk drivers while drivers of commercial vehicles should have a BAC of less than 0.04 percent under North Dakota laws.
However, North Dakota law permits the judge to use their discretion to determine DUI even if the blood alcohol levels are less than the prescribed limits.
All the laws in the world cannot prevent moronic behavior. Do not drive super-fast drunk and wear your seat belt!