28-year old Denis Pereirade-Macdeo had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18% (the legal limit is 0.08) the night he made a U-turn on Eastmoor Avenue in his BMW and hit a Toyota Tercel carrying a mother (50-year-old Osorio Acevedo), her two sons (Amado Osorio Acevedo, 23, and Josue Osorio, 15), and her eldest son’s girlfriend (20-year-old Sara Sangraw). Mother and sons were killed while Sangraw is listed as critically injured. Pereirade-Macedo was not injured at all and has been charged with charges of 3 counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, 2 counts of DUI, and 1 count of misdemeanor hit and run.
In the state of California, a person who has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter due to a DUI charge is subject to the CA Vehicle Code, §23152 and the CA Penal Code, §191.5. Whereas this particular CA Vehicle Code section makes driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol a crime, the CA Penal Code makes gross vehicular manslaughter a separate offense carrying a penalty of 4, 6, or 10 years in state prison. Additionally, this does not prevent prosecutors from further charging such an individual with murder if it can be proven that they exhibited a conscious disregard for life.
DUI charges, especially when they involve the death of others in the course of the alleged crime, are taken very seriously in the state of California. Even a first time drunk driving offender who did not injure anyone in the course of their actions can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail, have their license suspended for up to 10 months, and pay a fine of up to $2,600.
For Pereirade-Macedo, the felony charge of gross vehicular manslaughter is the most serious offense. He may face up to 10 years in a CA state prison or, if he has 2 prior DUI convictions or a prior gross vehicular manslaughter conviction, he could face 15 years to life in prison. Additionally, as there is one surviving victim left in critical condition (who has experienced “great bodily injury”), the girlfriend of Amado Acevedo, then Pereirade-Macedo could be sentenced to an additional 3-6 years under CA Penal Code, § 12022.7 (“great bodily injury statute”).
If you or someone you know if facing drunk driving charges, the criminal defense attorneys at Summit Defense offers a free initial consultation to explore your defense options.