The evening in the party cellar was merry. Beer was drunk, there was a football broadcast. Then the drunk group made their way home. Some of the men asked to be picked up. But Dustin R. got into his minibus. One of the friends sat in the passenger seat. With more than two parts per thousand alcohol in the blood, R. lost control of the car on the short drive and crashed into a tree. Any help came too late for his friend.
“I’m so sorry,” said R., a 36-year-old metalworker, on Thursday in the trial at the Tiergarten district court. However, he cannot remember how the accident happened on January 2, 2021, not far from his home in Rahnsdorf. “He is deeply shocked by the event and his drunken driving,” said his defense attorney.
Many in the audience had tears in their eyes. A friend was taken from life, for a 40-year-old it was the life partner. He called her and wanted to go home. “I don’t understand why he got in.” She thinks: “He wanted to stop him from driving.”
It was 9.45 p.m. when R. was traveling in the VW minibus on Fürstenwalder Allee – for a few hundred meters. He lost control of the car after a slight bend and crashed into a tree. Parts of the body were torn off, and the force of the impact threw the car back onto the road. An expert later calculated that R. probably crashed into the tree at a speed of 100 to 110 km/h. A maximum of 50 km/h is allowed on the route.
R. has been without a driver’s license since the accident. He had started a traffic psychological measure, wanted to “change attitudes and behavior,” said his lawyer. The penalty also has to be taken into account under civil law – “he will have to pay for life.”
[Security in the neighborhood – always a topic in the Berlin district newsletters from the Tagesspiegel, order free of charge at tagesspiegel.de/bezirke]
The prosecutor asked for two and a half years in prison. The lawyer pleaded for a suspended sentence “in the range of one year”. Both sides agreed: “It’s still a long way from being roadworthy”.
The court imposed a two-year suspended sentence. Dustin R. was guilty of negligent homicide and negligent endangerment of road traffic. A driver’s license ban was imposed for another year. In favor of R. it was taken into account that he has no criminal record and the passenger “was not an innocent bystander who was knocked over”.