What should be the punishment for someone who causes another person’s death while drunk driving? Should it matter if the motorist has a habit of driving impaired?
We need to look no further than earlier this year to learn about a possible sentence in this case if Cockeysville resident Todd Pivec, 41, is convicted of what he is alleged.
Pivec has found himself at the center of a storm of charges and allegations after last Friday’s incident. After a day and night of drinking, he reportedly was prevented from buying any more drinks at a local bar when he stormed out and took off in his vehicle. Bar staff reportedly called police to alert of a drunk driver. It was smart thinking, but unfortunately it was not enough to prevent a senseless tragedy.
When police tried to stop Pivec southbound on Coastal Highway, he reportedly sped away. Pivec’s vehicle eventually slammed into a vehicle around 46th Street, causing the victim’s vehicle to catch fire and the driver, a Princess Anne resident, to die. An experienced law enforcement professional witnesses the collision and estimated Pivec’s vehicle was traveling in excess of 60 mph when it struck the deceased’s vehicle.
Fortunately, Pivec’s vehicle became disabled after the collision. His intent would have clearly otherwise been to leave the scene because he tried to evade police on foot before being apprehended. Pivec has been charged with 27 total counts, including negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle, criminal negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle, negligent homicide while impaired, negligent homicide while under the offense and more. He is being held without bond because of his extensive record, which includes numerous drunk driving arrests and at least twice being charged with driving a vehicle without an ignition interlock system as required.
Each of the four major charges against Pivec carry five-year maximums. Therefore, it’s conceivable he will be serving major jail time.
Recent history shows another chronic drunk driver, Jonathan Kidder, was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended for a fatal hit-and-run collision involving a bicyclist in January. The incident was Kidder’s fifth drunk driving arrest.
Pivec is looking at a similar sentence and it seems highly appropriate.