SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 16, 2012

Sentence brings outrage

Family of accident victim, 19, wanted driver indicted

(Continued)

The remaining six months of her sentence will be suspended, and she will be on probation for seven years, the first six months of that time on house arrest. During that time, she will be required to have a remote alcohol monitoring device called a Sobrietor installed in her home and will be subject to random screens.

She has also lost her driver’s license for 15 years.

Griffin’s lawyer, Scott Dullea, said Griffin has wanted to accept responsibility for the crash since the moment it happened, recalling how she immediately confessed at the scene, again in an ambulance and then at the hospital, where she was questioned by police.

She had also wanted to reach out to the family to apologize, Dullea said. “I could not let her do that” while the case was still pending, he told the judge.

“Any sentence Ms. Griffin gets today will not compare to what she’s going to have to live with the rest of her life,” Dullea said.

“This tragic case illustrates all too well how drinking and driving not only cuts short a young life but has a lasting impact on surviving family members and friends,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a prepared statement.

Prosecutor Jane Prince described how Griffin, later found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.14, veered over the fog line along the side of Boston Street around 3:30 a.m. on the morning of June 16.

Her Chrysler PT Cruiser slammed into the back of an illegally parked flatbed tow truck.

Prince said the hood of the Chrysler went under the truck. The metal bed of the tow truck sheared through the windshield and passenger-side pillar of the car, where Renard was sitting.

A shaking and crying Griffin was outside the car when police arrived, frantically asking, “Is he dead? It’s my fault. It’s my car.”

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