In California, a DUI can mean driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The drugs can be either legal drugs, such as marijuana, illicit drugs, prescribed medications, or over-the-counter medications. All that needs be proven is that the drug or medication impaired a person’s ability to drive. Medications that come with warnings about drowsiness or dizziness can be said to impair a person’s ability to drive. However, proving that a person was impaired can be a difficult and complicated matter. Since all drugs and medications affect people differently, proving that someone was intoxicated or impaired can depend on the amount and number of drugs or medication found in a person’s system.
My News LA reports that jurors began deliberations in a DUI murder case where a man was driving under the influence of several medications.
39-year-old Adam John Kanas is facing one count of second-degree murder and two counts of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury. He also faces sentence enhancements for causing great bodily injury.
The charges stem from an August 15, 2016 crash.
The first 911 call regarding Kanas’ driving came in at about 6:55 a.m. Police weren’t able to track down Kanas at that time. A second call came in around 9:15 a.m. as he drove northbound on the San Diego Freeway in Seal Beach.
As traffic slowed, Kanas’ vehicle crossed over three lanes into the high-occupancy vehicle lane. There, it slammed into a Tesla traveling 15 m.p.h. At the time, Kanas was going 68 m.p.h.
10-year-old Kendra Geddis was killed in the crash. 13-year-old Kayla Geddis and her father, Don Geddis, were both injured.
At the time of the accident, Kanas had Carisoprodol, Oxycodone, and Xanax in his system. Kanas also has a previous DUI conviction from 2015. As a part of his plea deal, he was required to take first-offender driving classes. As a part of these classes, Kanas was warned that if he drove under the influence again and killed someone, he could be charged with murder.
During questioning, Kanas was shown to be nodding off and snapping back awake.
Kanas’ defense attorney argued that the prosecution could not prove that his client was impaired at the time of the crash.