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Operating While Under the Influence Poll October 27, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Drunk Driving.
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5 comments

WordPress just made polls available on their blogging service.  So, let’s put it to good use. 

 

UPDATE: H/T Sean Sweeney.   The graphic from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel states “Number of OWI arrests before it becomes a felony.”  I think Sean is right.  It should say “Number of OWI convictions.” Good catch Sean!

Thanks for your input!

Another Drunk Driving Statistic October 23, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Drunk Driving.
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2 comments

According to the Journal Sentinel series on Drunk Driving that I recently posted about Wisconsin:

Wisconsin has the largest percentage of binge drinkers and the largest percentage of drunken driving accidents, yet several states take a harder line on alcohol issues than Wisconsin. Click the topics below to see how Wisconsin compares to the rest of the U.S.

You need to see this diagram.  It looks like Wisconsin makes up almost 1/4 of the nation’s drunk driving accidents.  Wow.   I don’t know really what to say to that.  It’s embarrassing.  In this case it is NOT good to be #1.

http://www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in West AllisCrivitzPlymouthand Germantown.

Update on Cimermancic September 30, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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A while ago I posted about a young man who had a long history of Operating After Revocation and drunk driving.  While driving drunk (BAC .168) he drove the wrong way on the highway and hit my client head on. 

He was sentenced by Judge Mac Davis last week, September 26, 2008.  The sentence included one year in jail with work release privileges and 5 years probation.

The Journal Sentinel sent a reporter to the sentencing hearing:

Driver gets one year in wrong-way crash

Waukesha — A Richfield man who was intoxicated on Jan. 8 when he drove the wrong way on Highway 41/45 and collided head-on with another vehicle, seriously injuring the driver of that car, has been sentenced to one year in jail with work release privileges.

John D. Cimermancic, 26, pleaded guilty in July to injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle and was sentenced Friday by Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis.

According to the criminal complaint, the crash occurred about 11:40 p.m. Jan. 8 on Highway 41/45 at County Line Road in Menomonee Falls.

Two vehicles crashed head-on in the northbound lanes of the highway.

What the Journal Sentinel didn’t report was some outrageous comments by John Cimermancic’s attorney.   This attorney said he didn’t believe that prison does much as a deterrent.  I just don’t get this comment.  Look at Mark Benson for example.  He wasn’t supposed to be on the road.  His license was revoked.  That didn’t stop him from driving?   If he was in prison would we be talking about how he killed a mother and her kids? 

The same goes for this case.  John Cimermancic should NOT have been on the road.  He didn’t have a license and didn’t own a car.  He borrowed his girlfriend’s car and got drunk and drove the wrong way on the highway.  Prison is a deterrent in the sense that it takes a multiple drunk driver off of the road.  That in itself deters drunk driving.  It should be said that in September of 2007 John Cimermancic was charged with drunk driving.

Judge Davis was thoughtful and, at least it appeared to me, that he was concerned about the victim in this case.  He said that impact on the victim is very substantial and that nothing we can do will make the victim whole.  Judge Davis disagreed with Cimermancic’s attorney, saying there is more protection of the public if the defendant is in prison. 

But Judge Davis points out, if Cimermancic is out working there is the potential for the victim to be compensated sooner rather than later.   

Cimermancic is now a felon.  He can’t vote.  Can’t own a gun.  Must maintain sobriety.  Must attend AA or some other program.  Must maintain full time employment.  Loses his driver’s license for 2 years.  And he must pay restitution starting immediately.

As a father I feel badly for the family of the John Cimermancic.  He was pretty badly injured also.  He is an Iraq war veteran.  He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.   According to Judge Davis he has a better chance of successful rehabilitation because of his family support. 

All in all this is a terrible situation. Was the Judge’s decision on sentencing correct?  Let me think about it.  Ask me when my kids turn 16. I’m sure I’ll have a different opinion then.  

www.jonpgroth.com

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Kansasville, Marinette, Milton and Wauwatosa.

A Drunk Driver Ruins the Celebration September 5, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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2 comments

Once again a drunk driver ruins a party.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a drunk driver killed a Harley rider during last week’s 105th Harley Davidsons Birthday Celebration.  The drunk driver was about 3 times over the legal limit at the time of the collision.

The collision occurred at about 2:15pm on August 29th. She must have started drinking pretty early in the day to get that drunk before 2:15pm.  When is it ever worth drinking that much that early?  And why would you ever think of driving?

The victim is a 55 year old Michigander.

Once again the call goes out to the legislature to tighten the drunk driving laws in Wisconsin.  Hopefully, the DA assigned to this case will enforce the laws currently on the books.

http://www.jonpgroth.com

$150,000.00 August 1, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in Personal Groth.
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I had the privilege to help a woman injured after she was struck by a multiple drunk driver.  Luckily, her injuries were not severe.  She is still with us and doing much, if not all, of what she could do before the collision. 

The at fault insurance company did NOT exclude punitive damages.  This is rare.  Very rare.  The vast majority of the time insurance companies that write policies in Wisconsin specifically exclude any payment of punitive damages for their insureds. 

It is important that you check.  You may just find that needle in the haystack.  In this recent case it was a great benefit to my client. 

You’ve probably discovered that I don’t care for multiple drunk drivers.  If you or your attorney want assistance against a Wisconsin drunk driver that injured you feel free to call me.  I’d be happy to review the policy of insurance to see if you can obtain punitive damages from the drunk driver’s auto insurance.

By the way, don’t give up if insurance doesn’t cover punitive damages.  Make sure you check into the assets of the driver that caused the auto accident.

www.jonpgroth.com

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in South Beloit, Racine, Oak Creek and Wauwatosa.

WI Drunk Driver Petition May 15, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury, Personal Groth.
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2 comments

I’ve posted before about Mark Benson the former Wisconsin Doctor who has a history of injuring and killing innocent victims on the road.   Badgerblogger has drafted a petition that I encourage everyone to read and sign: 

 http://www.petitiononline.com/Bukosky/

Personally, I think we need to take drunk drivers off of the roads and into jail/prison.  (I’ve posted about this before…what happens if the drunk driver borrows someone elses car? They’ll still be drunk and behind the wheel).  But, I think the idea behind this petition about drunk drivers is at least a start.  Please take the time to sign it.  Or better yet, call your legislator!

www.jonpgroth.com 

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Wauwatosa, West Allis, Crivitz and Kenosha.

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