It Doesn’t Take Much Alcohol To Cause A Deadly Accident

TThere area few general rules when it comes to blood-alcohol content. One nearly universal rule in the United States is that a BAC of .08% or higher is over the legal limit and can land a person in jail if they are caught driving. A general rule is that one standard drink per hour will keep a person within legal limits, but even that can vary wildly. At .1, a person is noticeably drunk and lacks coordination. By .15%, nearly twice the legal limit, a person has the equivalent of a ½ pint of whisky coursing through their bloodstream. The Lompoc Record reports on a Santa Maria man facing 14 years in prison for his role in an accident that killed two people and injured another two.

30-year-old Rigoberto Gracida was driving eastbound on Highway 154 just before 2 a.m. on December 17, 2017. He then crossed into oncoming traffic heading westbound and crashed into a 2001 Honda Accord. The Honda was then struck by a 2000 Dodge Minivan.

Antonia Bautista Santiago, who was the driver of the Honda, was pronounced dead at the scene. Also pronounced dead at the scene was Hamilton Diaz Bonilla, who was a passenger in the minivan. Aurelio Salvador Zaragosa, the driver of the minivan and Rocael Antonia Pedro, a passenger in the Honda, sustained major injuries.

Gracida’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the accident was 0.1%, just over the legal limit.

Extensive extraction was required to free those who were injured at the time of the accident.

Gracida pleaded no contest to one count of driving under the influence and one count of driving under the influence causing injury. He also admitted to the enhancement charges of causing great bodily injury to four people.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 19th. Under California’s “Watson” rule, if Gracida is arrested for a fatal DUI in the future, he could then be charged with murder.

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