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Drunk driving charges bring permanent consequences

This month will make the first anniversary of a horrific triple-fatality crash in Bethel Park. Police attributed the deadly collision to drunk driving and speeding.

There was just a single survivor from the one-car collision on Library Road that occurred one hot July night last summer. Three young women had been out bar-hopping on Pittsburgh's south side and then stopped to pick up a fourth companion.

The women, all in their teens and early 20s, documented the night's events on social media. The videos they uploaded included footage allegedly showing them drinking vodka and driving at high rates of speed. One still shot posted on local media station WPXI showed a fifth of vodka in the car's console.

The driver, whose license was suspended at the time of the wreck, lost control of her car. It shot off the highway and slammed into a telephone pole where it became entangled in downed power lines.

Three of the young women died at the scene of the accident. The fourth victim survived but had an extensive recovery that began in the intensive care unit (ICU) at UPMC Mercy.

Even when incidents of drunk driving don't end tragically, that doesn't mean there is no collateral damage. A DUI conviction can derail promising educational and career trajectories, closing the door forever on possibilities that may not yet be fully realized.

Be smart this summer -- and always. Don't drink and drive. If you wind up arrested for driving under the influence, you need to take the charges very seriously and seek experienced legal guidance.

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