Millions of Americans, including many Wisconsin residents, fall under the spell of heroin each year. The drug’s far reaching effects have the power to transform the lives of those who become addicted to it. Although anyone is at risk for falling victim to heroin’s powerful command, teenagers and young adults are especially vulnerable. Multiple studies have shown that key components of a young adult’s brain have not yet fully developed. This may result in poor decision making skills and the inability to foresee the consequences of their behaviors.

One young man remembers very little of what happened one fateful evening in October of 2013. He does remember, however, using heroin before getting behind the wheel of his car. That decision led to the death of one Chicago man and the serious, life-changing injuries of a second man. The 26-year-old was given a plea deal, which will allow him to serve less time in prison. He will also be given access to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program while serving his time.

After pleading guilty to a Class 2 felony of aggravated DUI resulting in death, he will serve seven years in prison. He is required to serve a minimum of nearly 6 years and will remain on parole for an additional two years following his release. Without the plea deal, the offender may have served anywhere from three to 14 years.

Making the decision to drive after taking drugs or alcohol can have disastrous results. Not only do people run the risk of injuring or killing themselves or others, but they will undoubtedly change the course of their life if convicted of a DUI. A knowledgeable attorney can be instrumental in developing a strong criminal defense case.

Source: Lake County News-Sun, “Man gets 7 years for fatal DUI heroin crash in Waukegan,” Jim Newton, June 19, 2014.