Why The Delay In Arresting Drunk Driver Who Killed Scot On Holiday?
I was so pleased to read in the Orlando Sentinel that a Scots family may soon be receiving some justice following an accident that killed Peter Doherty, and injured his wife, Isobel.
I originally blogged about this automobile versus pedestrian accident back in September 2012. At that time, all we knew was that Mr. and Mrs. Doherty were sitting at a bus stop near the Mall at Millenia when a car jumped the curb and hit them. They were on holiday from their home in Scotland.
Apparently, the Orlando Police just made an arrest today, when they took David Lee into custody. Mr. Lee was obviously grossly negligent in the operation of his car. First, he failed to control his car, causing it to jump the curb. Second, he was going 52 mph in a 35 mph zone. Finally (and worse), Mr. Lee had a .115 blood alcohol – clearly in excess of the legal limit and clearly impaired.
Mr. Lee has now been charged with DUI manslaughter – a very, very serious felony charge that carries with it some lengthy jail time. While I’m pleased for the Doherty family that their patriarch’s killer had been brought to justice, I am left to wonder why it took six months for law enforcement to move on this case. It seems clear that Mr. Lee’s blood was collected at the scene, or shortly after. It does not take six months to test blood. The officer at the scene also indicated that he observed several indicia of intoxication in Mr. Lee. I’ve never prosecuted a criminal case, but this one seems fairly straightforward.
As an Orlando auto accident attorney, this one seems fairly straightforward from a civil perspective, too. Mrs. Doherty deserves to be compensated for her injuries, and for the wrongful death of her husband. I am hopeful that David Lee carried plenty of bodily injury liability coverage. Hopefully they also purchased some kind of travel accident insurance, as well. Money obviously cannot replace the loss of a loved one, but it can help with replacing lost income or replacement services. There are also pain and suffering damages that are, admittedly, difficult to determine.
In working with Scots citizens, and other vacationers from the United Kingdom currently and in the past, we have come to understand how different and foreign our legal system can seem – despite the fact that we share roots in the very same common law. When you are in a situation like that, sometimes it helps just to have your questions answered.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Doherty family.