In 2015, Travis Elwell, 23, of Mesquite, Texas was driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding when his BMW collided with 34 year old Emily Javadi’s Lexus. Javadi was loading items into her vehicle when the collision occurred. The collision sent Javadi into a metal pole. Javadi died an hour later according to the Dallas Morning News.
It was later determined that Elwell’s blood alcohol content was 0.175 percent.
Elwell was sentenced to probation, 120 days in jail, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and ordered to speak at drunk driving support groups.
However, in addition to the rather typical sentence just mentioned, Elwell was additionally sentenced to a week in jail on the anniversary of Javadi’s death every year for the next nine years. The unique sentence, crafted by Javadi’s parents and prosecutors, was given to serve as a reminder to Elwell of the life he took as the result of driving under the influence.
“Our justice system allows people to walk with probation only,” Karen Javadi, mother of Emily Javadi, told the Dallas Morning News. “We can’t change the justice system overnight … I hope he turns around his life and becomes a better person.”
The Javadis said that they didn’t want to see Elwell jailed for a long stretch of time because it would have negatively impacted his child, but also did not want to see Elwell’s sentence so lenient that he would not be held accountable.
“That was the only thing that was important to us,” Javadi’s father, Michael, told the WFAA. “That there needs to be some sort of accountability for the irresponsible actions that he took.”
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