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Drunk driver gets jail time for crash that injured trooper

A woman accused of striking and seriously injuring a Connecticut state trooper will serve 18 months in custody for her role in the injurious crash. The woman's full sentence was for five years, but the remainder of that time is slated to be suspended, and she will spend three years on probation after her release. The woman accepted a plea deal in connection with the drunk driving accident.

The accident in this case dates back to Sept. 25, 2011, when the defendant reportedly smashed into the rear end of the trooper's car during a traffic stop. The victim had pulled over another car that had been driving recklessly. As the trooper walked up to the passenger's side of the other vehicle, he was struck from the rear by his own patrol car, injuring his back and shoulder.

In addition to the physical pain in his back and arm, the trooper was also diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury after the incident. He had initially suffered from tremors and memory loss, though many of those symptoms faded. Now, he just experiences painful headaches. The man is attempting to return to full duty in the coming months, after being reinstated for light duties in November.

In the immediate aftermath of the wreck, the officer checked the health status of the man in the car he had pulled over; that person did not seem to have suffered serious injuries. Next, he called for back-up and went to talk to the woman who had allegedly caused the wreck. Official reports show that the woman was glassy-eyed and disoriented. A blood sample would later show that she was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Troopers should be able to trust that drivers will observe traffic laws requiring them to move to the other side of the road. Further, police officers should not have to worry about becoming the victim of a drunk driving accident simply because they are conducting a traffic stop. Drunk drivers who strike law enforcement officers deserve both criminal and civil punishment.

Source: New Haven Register, "Woman who hit Connecticut trooper with car gets 18 months in prison" Randall Beach, Apr. 24, 2014

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