It was 2016 when Suzanne Whitlow struck and killed two men who had been standing outside of a building on the University of Kentucky’s campus having a conversation. One of the men was LMPD Det. Jason Schweitzer, 37, and the other was Timothy Moore, 56, a UK employee. Whitlow admitted to having had a few drinks before getting behind the wheel of her vehicle and was later charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of DUI. Like many DUI offenders, this wasn’t Whitlow’s first DUI-related offense.
In fact, Whitlow had just completed a court-mandated DUI course for her previous DUI arrest when she fatally struck these two men. Her first run-in with the law occurred after she had been speeding and her blood-alcohol content level was twice the legal limit. Wave 3 News said she “didn’t bother to complete her community service,” and even posted a comment on her Facebook page some time after the DUI arrest saying, “replacing my heart with another liver so that I can drink more and care less.”
Although Whitlow did tell the judge that she was “remorseful” and apologized, it didn’t really mean much to Schweitzer’s wife and his two children that he has left behind. Schweitzer’s wife Jessica stated that “It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t change the fact that my husband’s gone, and both my kids don’t have their father here. Her apology doesn’t change that.”
Whitlow Eventually Pleaded Guilty to the Crime
After 15 months had passed after the crash, Whitlow entered a conditional guilty plea. A conditional plea means she has the legal right to appeal the punishment that is given to her by the court.
After Whitlaw pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and one count of DUI, she was sentenced to spend 20 years in prison.
It wasn’t until March 2018 when Whitlow was finally sentenced. She received the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to Wave 3 News. However, Fox News stated that her attorney argued that “police should have obtained a search warrant before having the university’s medical staff draw a blood sample” from her. For this reason, her DUI lawyer plans to file an appeal. And if the courts should choose to side with her lawyer, there is a chance that Whitlow’s sentence will be reduced.
As for Jessica Schweitzer, she can only hope that this case will help others think about their decision to drink and drive. She stated, “You can affect so many lives, so my message would be, think about other people, not just yourself.” The truth is, most drunk driving accidents do affect many others, aside from those who were involved in the wreck. In this case, a wife no longer has a spouse and two children will have to grow up without their father.
While we can only hope incidents like these serve as reminders to others as to why they should refrain from drinking and driving, other ways to combat the issue is to file suit against negligent motorists when they cause someone to suffer an injury or death in a DUI crash. And if you or a loved one is the victim of a DUI accident, consider hiring a Lexington, KY drunk driving accident lawyer who will see to it that is justice is served.