Highway 65 Crash Leads To DUI Prison Sentence

Getting caught driving drunk once is usually lesson enough for most people not to attempt it again. But the lesson doesn’t always stick. As the Fresno Bee reports, one man received a prison sentence for his second DUI.

27-year-old Johnny Mendoza was already on probation for DUI when he chose to drive east bound on Highway 65 near Spruce Street in the wrong lane. An unnamed 42-year-old woman was driving west bound with five passengers and tried to swerve out of Mendoza’s way. They ended up colliding, which claimed the life of the female driver. All five passengers were injured in the crash.

This was not Mendoza’s first DUI. He had a prior DUI conviction from 2014. He had been ordered to attend DUI classes and install an ignition interlock device. Mendoza did not complete either condition.

In the current case, Mendoza pleaded no contest to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. In addition, the defendant was charged with DUI causing injury with a previous DUI condition and an allegation of causing injury to more than one person.

This past Friday, Tulare County Superior Court Judge Michael Shelzer sentenced Mendoza to 15 years in state prison due to the 2016 crash. At the time of the crash, Mendoza’s BAC was .09 and he tested positive for methamphetamine.

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