A motorcycle rider has been sentenced to one to three years in prison after a motorcycle accident that led to the death of his girlfriend while both were under the influence of alcohol.
Douglas Bruce, 44, told the court that he and his girlfriend, Pauline VanThiel, 51, were just going for a little ride before dinner. They rode VanThiel’s motorcycle, but she chose to be the passenger because she had been drinking more.
According to Bruce’s lawyer, he laid down the bike after an oncoming car swerved into his lane at an intersection featuring a locally acknowledged blind corner. Both Bruce and his passenger stood up after the slide, apparently fine, when an oncoming pickup truck struck VanThiel.
Police measured Bruce’s blood alcohol at .08 percent, right at the legal threshold. VanThiel’s post-mortem blood alcohol was measured at .16 percent.
“I guess I didn’t consider my actions ahead of time,” Bruce said. “Everything was just beautiful. I don’t know how I can describe the tragedy I caused by not considering my actions.”
“We were just going on a little ride before dinner,” he said.
It is incredibly important to avoid riding while under the influence. Situations can change so quickly while riding, and alcohol makes it impossible to deal effectively with those changes.
The Metier Law Firm, LLP – Denver accident attorneys