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Houston County Jury Sends Message to DUI Drivers

Matt Boster

Viewed: 6180

Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Mar 07 2019 2:52 PM

DOTHAN, AL, March 7, 2019 – A two day civil trial in Houston County involving a DUI car accident ended yesterday. The DUI driver struck a local family in their vehicle while driving to visit a relative back in 2016.

The trial was presided over by Judge Butch Binford. The law firm of Cherry & Irwin represented the plaintiffs in this trial.  Attorneys Ben Irwin and Cal Whaley presented arguments to the jury on their behalf.

After closing arguments, a jury of their peers deliberated for about two hours before returning a verdict for the plaintiffs in the amount of $200,000. $50,000 was awarded in compensatory damages for their injuries, and $150,000 was awarded for punitive damages for the DUI driver’s misconduct. 

Attorney Ben Irwin said, “He was very proud when the jury announced their decision. Witnessing the moment when the jurors stood up and announced their decision to help protect our roadways for their fellow Houston County residents sent a powerful message. Driving under the influence will not be tolerated.”

In 2017 alone, there were 208 arrests for DUI. Testimony was heard during the trial from law enforcement that an average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before first arrest.

Regarding the jurors’ response with a strong verdict, Attorney Cal Whaley said, “When they heard the live expert testimony from Dothan Police Department Sergeant Scott Owens on the devastating impact of drunk driving in Houston Co., it appeared to clarify that more needs to be done to curb this unacceptable conduct.”

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