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March 7, 2011 - Seatbelts, Driving, and Alcohol


I learned today that a former client of mine was recently killed in an automobile accident.  Police say that alcohol and excessive speed played a role in the crash.

Reports indicate that he drifted over the center line of the highway and then rolled the car.  His car  came to rest blocking traffic on the opposite side of the road, and was hit by another vehicle.  He was killed.  A passenger in his car survived.  The driver of the other vehicle was not injured.

The driver, my former client, was a good person.  He was young, with a lot going for him.  His death was untimely, and I am sure he will be missed by his family and friends..

As a defense attorney, I believe that every person charged with a crime deserves a strong defense.  And I fight hard to ensure that my clients' rights are protected.  But no attorney can offer you protection against the laws of physics.  If you drink, and drive, and roll your car, there are consequences beyond what any judge can impose.

I don't take this incident lightly.  It is a tragedy.  But it serves to remind me why it is so important to address alcohol or other substance abuse issues when I am working with a client.

I know a judge who often tells defendants in his courtroom that if they don't address their addiction, they will end up either dead or in prison.  There is some truth in that statement.


This blog is the work of Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen W. Howard.  It is not intended to be legal advice, and the information contained herein may not be applicable to your particular factual or legal situation.  If you have been accused of criminal conduct, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the best way to handle your case.



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Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

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