In California, if you’ve had a previous DUI, chances are that you have gone to DUI school and may have signed something called a Watson acknowledgment. This is a document that states that you are aware that you may be charged with murder if you are involved in a future DUI accident that claims a life. In terms of DUI, a DUI murder charge is a second-degree murder charge, meaning that there was no malicious intent to kill, but that a person should have known that their actions may result in the loss of life.
The Mercury News reports on a woman that has pleaded no contest in a wrong-way crash that claimed six lives.
On the night of February 9th, 2014, Olivia Carolee Culbreath drove the wrong way down not just one, but two freeways.
She drove her red Chevrolet Camaro first north in the southbound lanes of the 57 Freeway and then east in the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway. She slammed head-on into a Ford Explorer, which was then subsequently struck by another car.
The four passengers in the Explorer were all killed. Two passengers inside Culbreath’s Camaro were killed. One of those passengers was Culbreath’s sister, 24-year-old Maya Culbreath.
Three hours after the accident, Culbreath’s blood-alcohol content was .15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit.
Culbreath had a previous DUI on her record from April 2010, and her license was reinstated in December 2011. Just a week prior to the deadly crash, Culbreath had had all restrictions removed from her license.
Lat Tuesday, Culbreath pleaded no contest to six counts of second-degree murder last Tuesday. The plea was not part of a plea bargain, but rather Culbreath wishing to spare her family and the families of her victims a trial.
Culbreath is due to be sentenced on September 7th. She is facing either 15 years or 30 years in state prison.