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We’ve heard countless stories about how drunk drivers claim lives. Well, one convicted drunk driver could spend what amounts to another lifetime in prison because of her poor decision.

Last week, Lacey Ambro was sentenced in connection with a February 2008 drunk driving accident in Las Vegas which killed two teenaged passengers. Ambro, who is now 22 years old, will serve from between seven and 24 years in prison.

In the crash, 17-year old James English and 16-year old Zoey Roanoke were killed when they were ejected from the vehicle that Ambro was driving. A third passenger survived the collision. Ambro, then 18, was eventually arrested and charged with two counts of driving under the influence resulting in death. Ambro pled guilty to those two charges this past April.

While criminal court handles the punishment for Ambro’s actions, civil court is designed to address the needs of the victims. Wrongful death lawsuits filed by the parents of the two deceased teens could allow the families to collect compensation for estimated future wages that the victims would have earned had that crash never occurred. Such suits could also get the plaintiffs reimbursement for burial expenses and damages for pain and suffering and loss of companionship. It’s unclear whether the families have currently filed any type of lawsuit against Ambro.

Certainly, this month’s court proceedings can serve as a warning to anyone who considers driving drunk. But it can also be a wake-up call for passengers who choose to get into a car with someone who has been drinking.