California has a series of additional penalties that can be added to a DUI. These harsher penalties are sometimes called enhancements or special allegations. They are not separate charges, but rather, they enhance the charges that a person is facing. They can mean more prison time, higher fines, and additional penalties. Some of these enhancements include speeding, causing injury to another person, having a child under 14 in the vehicle, excessive blood-alcohol content, and refusing to take the chemical test. All of these can be used to enhance the sentencing of a DUI charge.
KTLA reports that a DUI driver has received 8 years in prison for a Ventura County crash that killed her passenger and seriously injured others.
22-year-old Maia Yasmine James drove into oncoming traffic on Highway 126 east of Fillmore on October 13, 2017. The resulting crash claimed the life of her passenger and seriously injured the driver and the passenger in the first vehicle that she struck. She struck a second vehicle and injured two more people.
At the time of the crash, the California Highway Patrol determined that James had a blood-alcohol content of 0.258, which is more than three times the legal limit.
On June 21, 2019, James pleaded guilty to charges in the case and was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence causing injury. She also admitted to the special allegations that she inflicted great bodily injury, had a blood alcohol content higher than 0.15%.
Last Wednesday, James was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
After James pleaded guilty but before her sentencing, James was arrested in another incident and charged with felony DUI in San Diego County.