In California, the primary charge that a person can face when they kill someone while intoxicated is gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. This charge requires that the driver be intoxicated, kill one or more people, and have been acting with negligence. It is a felony charge and has serious penalties if convicted. The penalties include between 4 to 10 years in state prison or if the driver has been previously convicted of the charge, 15 years to life in prison. The driver will also be responsible for paying restitution to the victim’s family and carry felony status. A felony status can restrict their rights and affect future employment.
The Petaluma California Patch reports that a man has been arrested in the death of a bicyclist.
The collision occurred on Tuesday at about 9:28 a.m. on Corona Road near Industrial Avenue in Petaluma.
When officers arrived on scene at 9:50 a.m. and found the bicyclist, whose name is being withheld, near both vehicles that were involved in the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
65-year-old John Dethlefsen is alleged to have been driving east on Corona approaching the overpass. He crossed over the double yellow lines into westbound lanes. He struck the bicyclist first, and then he kept driving the wrong way and collided with a Ford F-150.
Authorities reported that Dethlefsen displayed signs of intoxication and took him into custody. He is currently charged with DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene and is investigating the case.