In the case of the drunk driver who was not arrested in time, the victim’s family receives only an apology / Article

In the case of the drunk driver who was not arrested in time, the victim’s family receives only an apology / Article
In the case of the drunk driver who was not arrested in time, the victim’s family receives only an apology / Article

Judge: We really didn’t see a problem with the case at hand

In 2018, three people died in an accident caused by a drunk driver in Dreimaņi, Kūku Parish, Jēkabpils County, among them a little three-year-old girl. The concentration of ethyl alcohol in the blood of the drunk driver was 3.26 per thousand, in the urine – 3.60 per thousand.

The trial lasted two years, the man was sentenced to six years in prison. The victims were convinced that the court’s verdict was the law and that the convict was serving the punishment for what he had done, but then the drunk drivers noticed, “enjoying” themselves in photos on social networks and even relaxing at a concert. The accused went to jail only after the family of the deceased raised an alarm.

The victim’s family hoped that someone would take responsibility for what happened – blatant negligence, because if the video had not appeared on the Internet, the drunk driver would still be at large, because the system had forgotten about this person. Not a week, not a month, but more than two years!

“In this particular case, both the convicted person’s declared place of residence and another address known to the court were indicated in the notice of execution of the judgment to the police. The court is aware that the police received this court notice, as well as the judgment with execution.

Nothing was received from the police, and neither did the court, we really did not notice that such a problem had arisen with the specific case,” admitted the judge of the Zemgale district court Līga Baltmane-Zepa.

Police officials are not held accountable

Following the application of the victim’s family to the management of the State Police, the Disciplinary Monitoring Group of the Kurzeme Regional Administration started a fact check at that time, which concluded that more than two years have passed since the disciplinary offense was committed and the mentioned officials no longer hold positions in the Kurzeme Regional Administration of the State Police, thus initiating disciplinary cases and summoning the officials to liability is not possible.

This means that any law enforcement officer who “made a mess” can simply retire from the service, and he will have nothing for what he did.

“Hopefully, those who did not perform this work here will be punished. And if it was the case that this person is no longer working, then the person who is responsible for this person should be punished accordingly,” hoped Marta, who lost her loved ones.

The victim’s family receives only a letter of apology

At that time, the victim’s family sued the state, and now the results are known.

“From the beginning, it was as if the police were guilty, then it turned out that the judge did not do everything as it should,” said Aldis Alliks, the legal representative of the victim’s family. “Nothing has changed in the sense that even after 30 years of restoration of independence, one points to the other, to the third, and the state is collectively responsible, but there are no names and surnames. My conviction, my experience shows that every failure, every deficiency has a name and surname.”

At first, the family appealed against the State Police and the system of the Ministry of the Interior in a civil legal way, then in an administrative one, however, fighting for justice against the civil service, which made blatant mistakes, without bringing the court’s verdict to the end – the imprisonment of the drunk driver – did not bring the expected results.

“The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has said for many years that suffering should not always be measured in money. It is enough for the victim that the ECtHR has determined that the applicant has been wronged. This is incomprehensible to my logic. Then, in criminal cases, it will be enough for the court to the fact that it has determined that someone has murdered someone, and then the relatives of the murdered person should be satisfied with the fact that the court has recognized this fact,” Allik expressed in confusion.

The family’s appeal to various instances has resulted in the fact that there will be no moral compensation for the experiences caused.

“For you, so to speak, an apology will be enough, because in the opinion of the ministry, the suffering of the victim lasted only from the moment when he or his family members saw this or that picture on the convict’s Facebook profile, until the moment when the police actually found out that [notiesātais] not serve a prison sentence,” Allik explained.

So, in the opinion of the court, nothing major has happened. The family received only a formal letter of apology.

“We are all human, but apparently there are some groups of people who don’t have anything like that happen to them, and for them to understand those who have had something like that happen in their life is not even difficult, but impossible,” Allik admitted.

It should be noted that the judge involved in the case, Līga Baltmane-Zepa, who did not control the execution of the verdict in the case of the drunk driver, has been promoted in the meantime and is now handling the case in the Zemgale Regional Court.

The article is in Latvian

Tags: case drunk driver arrested time victims family receives apology Article


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