Alexander Peder, Drunk Driver, Kills Two High School Students With Half-Empty Bottle of Vodka in Passenger's Seat

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Alexander Peder (pictured at right) should have known better. The 50-year-old company president had twice been charged for drunk driving. So when he got into his Ford Explorer last week with a half-full bottle of vodka riding shotgun, chances were good something bad was going to happen.

Decatur High School students Nicholas Hodgins and Derek King, both 18, were a week away from graduating when the Honda Civic their friend was driving stalled on I-5 just south of Westcenter Mall. The car's emergency lights were on. But the boys were unable to move the car off the shoulder.

The driver was on the phone with a dispatcher when Peder's SUV rammed them from behind. King died at the scene. Hodgins and the driver were both rushed to Harborview, but the former never recovered.

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Nicholas Hodgins and Derek King were out celebrating the high school graduation that was supposed to come just days later.
When police got to the scene they observed that Peder had bloodshot eyes and "spoke with a thick tongue." An hour after the crash a test revealed his blood alcohol level to be 0.16, double the legal limit.

Along with the liquor bottle, cops found a receipt indicating the booze had been purchased six hours before along with two other bottles of tequila.

Peder is president of X10, a company that sells mini security cameras. As the P-I reports, in successfully arguing that Peder's bail should be set at $1 million prosecutors noted that he owns a private plane and therefore probably had the funds to free himself should the price be lowered.

Peder has been charged with vehicular homicide. If convicted he could face five to seven years in prison. In one previous arrest on suspicion of drunk driving, Peder was able to plead down because his breath test was not allowed to be submitted as evidence.

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