Impaired Driving in the News

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The legal door is closed on a horrific traffic accident that killed four people including all three children from one family in September 2015. Marco Muzzo pleaded guilty to six charges stemming from the accident, during which he was operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level over two times the legal limit.

Sentencing

prison

Muzzo’s sentence is 10 years, though he will be eligible for parole after completing one-third of his sentence. This would mean an effective sentence of three years, since Muzzo receives credit for the eight months he has already served. Day parole could begin as early as 31 months from the time of his initial incarceration.

In addition to prison time, Muzzo will be prohibited from driving for a period of 12 years, which begins upon his release from prison. Muzzo expressed deep remorse and fully accepted responsibility for the accident, as well as the sentence issued by the judge.

While Justice Michelle Fuerst noted that letters in support of Muzzo painted a positive picture of a compassionate and hard-working man, 10 prior speeding infractions seemed to have no impact on Muzzo’s history of reckless driving. Fuerst referred to Muzzo’s blood alcohol level as “alarmingly high.”

Muzzo was returning home after a flight from Miami, where his bachelor party had been held. His Jeep collided with a minivan driven by Gary Neville, grandfather of the Neville-Lake children killed in the accident. Neville himself was also killed in the accident.

Impaired Driving Impact

Justice Fuerst referred to the accident as a “tragedy beyond comprehension,” and noted that, in one sudden instant, the Neville-Lake family lost its reason for being. Fuerst referred to the victim impact statements of the children’s parents delivered at the earlier sentencing hearing.

The Neville-Lake Family

Mother Jennifer Neville-Lake made several powerful victim statements both in court and outside, including a photo of two of her children holding hands while on life support in the hospital. As well as suffering the ordeal of the accident itself, Neville-Lake and her husband were forced with the decision to remove life support from two of the children when life support itself was threatening to burst the heart of their two-year-old daughter Milly. The other Neville-Lake children are nine-year-old Daniel and five-year-old Harry.

Jennifer Neville-Lake’s statement to media after sentencing was powerful and succinct, warning others to make decisions that Muzzo did not:

“When you choose to drink and drive, you are hurting other families. You are killing someone else’s babies like mine were killed. Like all of mine were killed on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.”

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