DWI Charge Comes with Big Bill for Driver Who Hit Fountain

A man who allegedly crashed into a fountain in Belleville, Illinois, in April may face criminal charges and fines in connection with the property destruction. The 28-year-old man has been cited for a misdemeanor drunk driving charge, in addition to a traffic violation for speeding. He could also be required to pay for the 52,000 gallons of water that were used to refill the fountain, along with other costs on top of the allegations of DWI offenses.

Authorities report that the defendant crashed into the fountain during the early morning hours on April 19. He suffered minor injuries and received treatment before being taken into custody. Workers were required to drain and clean the fountain on that day in order to inspect the entirety of the damage. Further, an intensive immediate cleanup was required in order to remove dangerous chemicals from the fountain, including antifreeze and motor oil.

As a result, the man could be held responsible for the cost of hiring two workers to perform overtime duty for six hours on the day of the crash. Physical repairs to the fountain would also be included, with new parts and cleaning supplies costing about $150. The highest cost may come from the water; the average American uses about 100 gallons of water each day. Do the math, and it seems as though the man could be on the hook for a significant water bill because of his role in the wreck.

The defendant in this case does not appear to have entered a plea at this time. This case shows the diversity of criminal sanctions that can be imposed upon those facing DWI offenses in Illinois. Fines can be imposed for the misdemeanor DWI allegations, but they can also be levied for property damage if publicly owned items are destroyed.

Source: Belleville News Democrat, “Eckert: Alleged drunken driver to pay for Belleville fountain crash” Jacqueline Lee, May. 06, 2014

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