California has three different charges when a drunk driving accident takes a life. The intoxicated driver will find themselves facing either vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charges, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charges, or murder charges. The first is the least serious of the charges, but it still carries serious penalties. It can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged with the misdemeanor charge, the driver will face up to one year in county jail. The felony version carries a penalty of sixteen months, two years, or four years in a state prison. These sentences are on top of the sentences for other offenses, such as DUI or DUI causing injury the driver may face.
KTLA reports that an ex-DHS officer has been sentenced for a deadly DUI crash in Pomona that took place in 2017.
On Monday, March 2, 2020, the driver was sentenced at Los Angeles County Superior Court to a three-year prison sentence.
29-year-old Luis Angel Ureno had pleaded no contest last month to charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence and driving with a blood-alcohol level of over 0.08% causing injury.
The charges stem from an accident that occurred on September 18, 2017. Ureno was driving at high speed when he rear-ended a vehicle on the westbound 10 Freeway near the 57 Freeway in Pomona.
The crash claimed the life of 42-year-old Hector Espinoza Soltero. His wife was seriously injured.
At the time of the collision, Ureno was an officer with the United States Department of Homeland Security. The charges were reached as a part of a plea deal.