Most people in New Orleans know about the city's French Quarter and its constant party atmosphere. People from all over the country go to New Orleans specifically to partake in the revelry on Bourbon Street and other nearby locations. Of course, when people drink large quantities of alcohol, which tends to happen in the French Quarter, it does pose a number of safety concerns.
People who have consumed a lot of alcohol tend to make less rational and responsible choices. This can translate into a dangerous situation for the person who is intoxicated, as well as for other people who may just happen to be near the drunk person. Such was the case for a 22-year-old woman who was celebrating her birthday in New Orleans.
The woman and her friends were in the French Quarter celebrating on the eve of her 23rd birthday when tragic events unfolded. The group was walking down a sidewalk early in the morning when a car slammed into a pole that was supporting a balcony. The pole fell on the 22-year-old and instantly killed her.
Police arrested the driver of the car after the accident, and a test revealed that his blood-alcohol concentration was nearly three times the legal limit of .08. Although the accident occurred almost a year ago, the drunk driver recently pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and will spend at least 25 years in prison.
In addition to violating criminal laws, drunk drivers who are the cause of accidents may have legal liability for any injuries that they cause to accident victims. That means that they could be responsible for paying monetary compensation to cover a wide range of damages to the victims or their families.
This fatal accident unfolded in an unusual way, but it is still a reminder of why drinking and driving do not mix. Car accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities, and drivers must be aware of this and always make safety a priority.
Source: The Times-Picayune, "Drunk driver gets 25 years for killing woman when French Quarter balcony pole fell," Ken Dayley, Oct. 15, 2015