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Saigon BMW Driver Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Jail for Fatal DUI Crash

In October last year, a driver careened into a crowd of motorcyclists stopping at the Hang Xanh Intersection, killing one and injuring eight others.

According to Tuoi Tre, on Monday, the Binh Thanh People's Court sentenced 47-year-old Nguyen Thi Nga to three years, six months in prison for "violating road traffic regulations." Nga was responsible for a high-profile accident in October that killed one woman, seriously injured five others and wounded three.

She admitted to driving without a license after consuming alcohol at a birthday party, claiming her shoe heel got lodged under the gas pedal, which caused her to panic and plow into a group of motorbikes idling at a red light at Hang Xanh Intersection.

Her blood alcohol reading at the time was 0.94 milligrams per liter; it is illegal to operate a car with any alcohol in one's blood in Vietnam. Nga said that she was taking driver training courses at the time and only drove the vehicle because her chauffeur had the night off. 

The crime carries a potential sentence of ten years, however, the judge cited a "good background" as well as her goodwill in compensation to victims and their family, reports VnExpress. Nga gave the dead victim's family a reported VND150 million (US$6,400) for funeral expenses and suggested contributing to tuition for the victim's daughters with a monthly VND3 million allowance. The family rejected the allowance and argued for compensation of VND2 billion, the news source adds.

The two parties have reached an agreement, but neither that number nor the amount she gave the other victims has been made public. At court, the families of the victims decided to not press charges.

[Photo via Facebook page Tôi Là Dân Thủ Đức]

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