Any DUI in California is serious, but if a driver was found to have an “excessive” blood alcohol level, the penalties can be much stiffer. An excessive blood alcohol level can increase jail time, the length of time that a license is suspended, and increase the amount of time spent on probation.
The Fresno Bee reports that a man with a BAC nearly double the legal limit has been sentenced in a crash that killed an unborn baby.
27-year-old Rafael Delgado was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison on Wednesday, January 30th.
The sentencing comes from Delgado’s no contest plea in October on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI with a BAC of 0.08% or more causing injury.
The charges stem from a crash that occurred on December 29th, 2018. Delgado was driving his 2005 GMC Yukon on Golden Gate Boulevard when he slammed head-on into the 2015 Nissan Altima carrying Jose and Heidy Jimenez. Heidy was pregnant at the time of the crash.
The severity of the crash was so great that doctors had to deliver the Jimenez baby by emergency c-section. The baby weighed only 3lbs and 1oz.
Sadly, the baby passed away the next day.
Excessive blood alcohol is covered under a specific violation of the California Vehicle Code. It is not a separate chemical charge. Instead, it is a sentence enhancement that can be added to a regular DUI charge. California has two specific thresholds for excessive blood alcohol level: 0.15% and 0.20%. A judge has discretion when deciding on the penalties for enhancement charges and can be very tough on drivers they feel may have acted recklessly.
At the time of the accident, Delgado’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.16%. At the sentencing hearing, Delgado and members of his family pleaded for mercy. In addition to a sentence of seven years and four months, the judge denied the chance for probation