Fatal Methadone DUI Leads To 14 Year Sentence

Methadone is a prescription medication meant to wean people off of the drug heroin and to help curb withdrawals. One possible side effect of methadone is drowsiness and weakness. Driving while intoxicated, even on a prescription medication, can result in a DUI charge. Bakersfield Now reports on a man receiving a 14 year sentence for driving while intoxicated in a crash that claimed the life of his wife.

Jose Alfredo Garcia, who pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter in June, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Tuesday, September 26.

The incident, which occurred in January of 2016, involved Garcia and his wife. The couple were returning home to McFarland from Eagle Mountain Casino when the accident occurred. They were approximately 10 miles from home when Garcia crashed their Lexus into a pole.

Garcia suffered a broken left collarbone and a broken right heel in the accident. His wife did not survive.

According to reports from the CHP, Garcia first gave a “fictional” name and lied about being behind the wheel. He later admitted to driving. Officers reported that Garcia had constricted pupils, slurred speech, and was nodding off.

When notified of his wife’s death by the coroner, Garcia was momentarily upset, but immediately began nodding off again. He then pleaded with authorities not to take him to jail.

According to police reports, officers observed “track marks” on Garcia’s arms. Garcia also admitted to having taken a dose of methadone earlier in the day.

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