It’s not often that a murder charge is laid in a drunken driving case. This one is an exception, based on the facts.
This case made headlines due to the horrendously, brutal facts that came out after a young woman was killed in a devastating drunk driving accident. She had just graduated from high school, and had her whole life in front of her, when one day, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, when death came calling in the guise of 31-year-old Michael Grasing.
The young woman was on her way home from her part-time job and was excited by the anticipation of attending her graduation party that night. Prior to the gut-wrenching wreck, eyewitnesses had seen a supremely intoxicated Grasing staggering towards his vehicle. They told him not to drive. He chose not to listen, as he thought he could handle driving his car.
His decision led him to run two red lights, weave in and out of traffic doing at least 100 mph and ultimately slam into the young woman’s car. He never even hit the brakes before he hit her vehicle. The only reason he did come to an abrupt halt was because he hit a pole. His blood alcohol reading was four times the legal limit. Never had the police seen such reckless disregard and indifference for the lives of others. The district attorney agreed, based on the facts of the case, and the man was charged with murder in a drunken driving case – a rare occurrence in legal circles.
The accused, Grasing, chose to plead not guilty to his indictment. During arraignment he did not speak and was ordered held on $1 million bail. His attorney did not speak to the media and neither did the accused. However, the district attorney indicated that the young woman never had a chance, and for that reason, he had chosen to attempt to obtain a murder conviction.
There were multiple charges laid against Grasing, including manslaughter, reckless driving, running two red lights, speeding reckless endangerment, aggravated vehicular homicide, DWI as a felony and a misdemeanor and leaving the scene of the accident. This guy had the book thrown at him. If he is successfully convicted of murder, he could face a maximum of 25 years to life behind bars.
None of the things that happen in court to Grasing will ever bring the family’s daughter back, but in seeking a murder conviction, it may serve as a serious warning to others who choose to be dumb enough to drink, drive, speed and flee, once they have been involved in a virtually inevitable wreck. Will the drunk driver learn a lesson? Hard to say, but spending a possible 25 years to life behind bars may hit home – and then again, depending on his attitude it may not.
Drunk driving cases are not always this spectacularly horrific, but they are certainly some of the worse cases attorneys handle. There is never any relief for the family of a victim. The loss stays with them for life. An Austin injury lawyer can help them get their case to court, and help them to achieve some form of closure, and ensure the compensation they receive allows them to move forward with their lives, as best they can.
Bobby Lee is an Austin personal injury lawyer for Lee, Gober and Reyna. If you need an Austin personal injury lawyer, contact an Austin personal injury attorney from Lee, Gober and Reyna. Visit RWLeelaw.com.