A family outing can quickly be overshadowed by tragedy when someone decides to drink and drive. The effect of drunk driving is particularly damaging when a car accident leads to the death of a loved one.

Such is the case for Adrian Antoine Jr., who was recently charged with vehicular negligent injury, driving while intoxicated and vehicular homicide. On July 21, 2012, Antoine got behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of .09 and crashed his vehicle. The driver, his eight-year-old son, Adrian Antoine III, and an eight-year-old female passenger were ejected from the car and pronounced dead on the scene. The driver and remaining three passengers sustained injuries but survived the crash.

Vehicular homicide can carry a $2000 to $15,000 fine and prison time of five to 30 years. Whatever prison time is awarded, three years must be served without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Nonetheless, a prison sentence for the at-fault driver does little to make up for the impact to the victims and survivors of the car wreck.

Though the three other passengers survived the crash, two suffered serious injuries that may affect them for a lifetime. The eight-year-old girl passenger sustained severe head injuries. The injured passengers may face enormous medical expenses, lost wages and long-term care needs that resulted from the accident. To recover compensation for injuries, caused by a drunk driver, accident victims often need legal counsel to properly determine the value of their case.

Source: The Times Picayune, “Father booked in single-car crash that killed 8-year-old son in July ,” Ramon Antonio Vargas, Nov. 28, 2012