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A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. The DWI charges resulted from a multi-vehicle crash in which a St. Louis City Alderman was killed. In a sentencing hearing, the court reached a decision that will not require the accused to serve time in jail as long as he complies with the terms of a probation order.

The accused pleaded guilty to being under the influence of alcohol when he hit a semi-truck along Highway 370. After two other semi-trucks pulled over to assist in the accident, an approaching UPS truck was unable to avoid the group of vehicles. When the UPS truck crashed, the impact resulted in the death of the driver. The driver had worked as a UPS deliveryman as well as a 27th Ward Alderman.

The St. Charles County Court suspended a jail term and sentenced the accused to two years of probation. The man will also be forbidden from drinking alcohol and must undergo treatment for alcohol abuse. His vehicle will be fitted with an ignition interlock device that will prevent him from being able to start the engine while intoxicated.

Although two years on probation can be difficult, the majority of defendants would prefer it to a jail sentence. Because the accident in this case resulted in a death, there was a possibility of the accused receiving a much harsher sentence. After being charged with drunk driving, the help of an experienced DWI lawyer can often result in defendants receiving a lighter sentence. While building a defense, a lawyer may use details about the sobriety test to discredit the charges.

Source: KMOV, "Man pleads guilty in drunk-driving wreck that killed St. Louis alderman", Brendan Marks, September 16, 2013

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