By all accounts, 38-year-old (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) was trying to get his life together. He’d just been released from an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center after a 2013 DUI conviction, his 3rd. His friends all say that he was doing well, that he’d given up the life that he had before, which included a lot of drinking and driving. He finally understood the consequences his actions could have, especially on others. However, and unfortunately, a 19-year-old man did not. A drunk driver killed him on the 29th of April while he was riding his bicycle in Dana Point, an ironic fate, to say the least. Though it has not been proven that the young man who hit him was, indeed, driving while intoxicated. What is certain, however, is that he would have been saved if he’d simply begun his prison term, having been sentenced just one day before to 45 days in county jail and 5 years of probation. Evidently, he was waiting for that term to begin in one month.
In the state of California, his crimes are far less serious, legally speaking, than the young man’s who killed him. California Penal Code 191.5(b) (gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated) dictates that this crime is a felony. If you are convicted of a charge pursuant to this law, you may face up to 10 years in state prison or, if you have a prior similar charge, 15 years-to-life. You may also face probation, a $10,000 fine, restitution to any living victims who were also involved in the accident, community service, license suspension, and attendance in a DUI school.