In a DUI accident, if someone tragically loses their life, the DUI driver would normally face charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. This is because a charge of DUI murder rarely occurs. DUI murder is a second-degree murder charge which means that the taking of life was not intentional, but that the driver acted with implied malice. DUI murder is a felony which can result in a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. More time can be added if more than one person is killed or if more people are injured in the accident.
Bakersfield Now reports on a man facing 15 years to life after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a DUI accident.
27-year-old Carlos Bonifacio Garcia made the decision to drive drunk on July 15, 2017. It is a decision that he will remember for the rest of his life.
Last Thursday, June 21st, Garcia was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the accident he caused last year. The sentence came as part of a plea deal where Garcia pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder on May 23rd. In light of his plea, four additional charges were dismissed.
On the morning of the crash, Garcia was driving on Taft Highway when he swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a pickup truck head-on.
Inside the truck was Francisco De La Cruz, who was seriously injured. De La Cruz was taken to a hospital for treatment, but he succumbed to his injuries just a few hours later.
Police found containers of alcohol in his vehicle, which led Garcia to admit that he had been drinking. At the time of the accident, his blood-alcohol level was .23%, which is nearly three times the legal limit.