Posted On: March 3, 2012 by Ryan Bradley

Prison Time for Missouri DUI Accident Drivers

Courts around the nation are using prison sentences to deter and punish drunk drivers when other measures fail to contain the problem. Missouri and other states are sentencing drunk drivers to prison after these reckless drivers cause personal injury and death in accidents.

A California woman, Danae Marie Miller, was recently sentenced to four years in prison after she killed a bicyclist in a DUI accident. The 23 year old Californian was drinking at a restaurant before driving her Volkswagen Jetta. She began texting on her cellphone, causing her to swerve into the bike lane of the roadway. The Volkswagen crashed into and killed a female bicyclist who was riding in the bike lane. The drunk driver was charged with felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated. The drunk driver had previously received numerous citations for the type of driving negligence that caused the accident.

Missouri courts have enacted even harsher punishments for drunk drivers who cause fatal Missouri DUI car accidents. The St. Louis Post-Disptach reported that local man Newton Keene was sentenced to 28 years in prison after his negligence caused a DUI accident. Three people were killed in the crash.

Keene drove the wrong way on an interstate highway at 2am when he crashed into another vehicle. The accident killed a woman named Tawanda Jackson, Jackson’s friend Jon Moss, and Jackon’s son Arnold. Jackson’s daughter Takia, an 11 year old child, survived the DUI accident. The accident victims were on the interstate because they were returning home from a funeral of a family member.

Prior to this accident, Keene had been jailed for five previous DUIs. Since Keene has shown through his actions that routine punishments did not deter his negligent behavior, the court sentenced Keene with the maximum penalty allowed. Keene must also serve at least 24 years of his term before he is even eligible for parole.

When drunk drivers are convicted of criminal offenses for their negligence in causing car accidents, an experienced Missouri drunk driving accident attorney can use that conviction against the drunk driver in a civil lawsuit on behalf of the accident victims. Accident victims should contact an attorney to understand their legal rights.