A person who is convicted of a DUI in California will face escalating penalties for future DUI charges. As long as the DUI occurs within ten years of a previous DUI, it can count towards these increased penalties. While a DUI is typically a misdemeanor, beginning with the third DUI, a prosecutor has the discretion to charge the DUI as a felony. A fourth DUI is always a felony. If the DUI involved the death of another person and there is a previous DUI, the driver could be looking at a DUI murder charge. This is a second-degree murder charge and the penalty could be life in prison.
The Visalia Times-Delta reports that a man from Tulare County is facing life in prison after a deadly DUI collision caused the death of an infant.
This week, a jury in South county found 51-year-old Timothy McDarment guilty of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony hit-and-run resulting in death or injury, and driving on a suspended license.
The charges stem from a June 2017 accident where McDarment was speeding in a vehicle near Springville Avenue and Doyle Street east of Porterville. He tried to pass a car by crossing over the double yellow lines. The driver he was attempting to pass made a left into a driveway, and McDarment slammed into the vehicle.
McDarment ran from the scenes but was followed by witnesses and apprehended a short time later. The victims in the car were rushed to a hospital, where the 1-year-old infant died. Two other women in the vehicle suffered from serious injuries.
Two hours after the crash, McDarment’s blood-alcohol level as determined by a blood draw was 0.13%.
This is not the first time that McDarment has gotten behind the wheel while intoxicated. He has DUI convictions from 2000, 2010, and 2015. He was still on probation for the 2015 DUI when the accident occurred.
McDarment faces 22 years to life in prison.