Like many states, California has escalating penalties for multiple DUI convictions. Keep in mind, penalties are only applied when convicted, so having multiple DUI charges without convictions will not necessarily increase penalties. Most of the time, the escalating penalties involve increased fines, increased jail time, having to take a long DUI course, and a longer license suspension time. These increasing penalties assume just an average DUI. People being injured or killed can make even a first time DUI serious, which can include felony charges.
The Mercury News reports on an unusual DUI case where a victim was not discovered until the following day.
Following an October 9th crash, the California Highway Patrol arrested the driver that witnesses and others involved in the crash said was driving at the time.
After concluding that no one had been injured in the crash, the CHP left the scene. However, the case would take a turn when the next day, a woman claiming to be the mother of a person involved in the accident contacted police stating that her son had not come home.
Police discovered the body of Darren Walker about 100 ft from the car that had been in the accident.
The case took another bizarre turn when a Facebook video was posted by 31-year-old Tyler Underwood. Underwood spoke to the camera, claiming to have been the real driver in the accident. He said that a vehicle malfunction caused the accident, not intoxication.
However, investigators later determined that the person claiming responsibility for the crash was actually a passenger in the second car. Also, in the car that Underwood claimed to have been driving, was his 4-year-old daughter. The child was not injured.
However, the child’s grandmother stated that Underwood has been the suspect of multiple DUI charges in the past. This may explain why the passenger in the second vehicle tried to claim responsibility for the accident.
CHP is still investigating the incident and Underwood has not yet been arrested.