NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — A drunk driver who nearly killed a teenage boy on Long Island was sentenced to six months in prison. The suspect admitted he drank more than 10 beers before getting behind the wheel, and it wasn’t his first time.
The victim’s family is outraged, saying the driver’s sentence is far too light, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
It was an emotional day in court for 15-year-old victim Joseph Garramone and his parents, reliving the moment one year ago that Joe – a star football player – nearly lost his life to a repeat drunk driver.
“I remember nothing. I had such bad head trauma, I don’t even remember that whole day,” Garramone said. “Shattered my wrist. Both my knees are horrible, messed up. I can’t play football ever again because of head trauma.”
Fifty-year-old David Andresen, now convicted three times of DWI, arrived in court admitting to a judge that he’d climbed behind the wheel despite having just downed a dozen beers. He ran down Joseph, who was riding his bike with a friend along Clancy Road in Manorville, and Joseph suffered a concussion and was critically injured.
The Garramone family was outraged that a six-month plea deal sentence with a repeat drunk driver was worked out with the courts.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports
“He’s going to get a slap on the wrist,” Joseph’s mother, Joann Garramone, said. “They should be consistent with these DWIs. Some people get six months for killing a kid, some get six months for just hitting a kid and hurting a kid.”
“Maybe this time, that he’s going to jail, maybe we may have saved somebody’s life,” John Garramone, the victim’s father, said. “Maybe it’s another kid that he won’t hit or kill.”
This weekend is homecoming weekend at Joe’s high school, where football, he said, was his life. Now, doctors say he cannot participate in contact sports due to permanent injuries suffered at the hands of a drunk driver.
“I can never play football again. My wrist hurts all the time. My knees hurt all the time. I have headaches all the time. And he’s going to jail for six months for it. It’s not really, you know, equal,” he told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
“Now he has to sit on the sideline, because somebody had to have 12 beers before he came home from work. It’s just not fair,” Joann Garramone said.
Andresen, who pleaded guilty to first and second degree vehicular assault, apologized to Joseph and his family in the courtroom, and said he would seek alcoholism treatment in jail.
In the end, the Garramone parents agreed to the sentencing with the Suffolk County District Attorney to spare their son the ordeal of a trial.