updated 7/24/2009 9:52:48 AM ET 2009-07-24T13:52:48

A court in southwestern China has sentenced a man to death for a drunken-driving accident that killed four people in what's being called a first for the country.

The 30-year-old man was found guilty of endangering public safety and sentenced to death yesterday.

He was reportedly drunk and speeding in the capital of Sichuan province last year when he struck four other cars. Four people were killed and another person was seriously injured. He was also driving without a license.

Appeal vowed
One newspaper reports that the man begged the judge for a chance to start a new life. He said he would appeal.

China imposes capital punishment more than any other country. Amnesty International says China put at least 1,718 people to death last year. The actual figure is believed to be higher.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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