A person can be charged with DUI causing injury in California even if they are not over the “legal limit” of .08%. If a person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and acting in a way that shows impairment, and another person was injured, then that person may be charged with DUI causing injury. If a person is over the legal limit, they can be charged even if they are not acting impaired. In California, DUI causing injury can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
NBC Los Angeles reports on a man who has pleaded guilty to DUI causing injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Armando Edgar Duran Cruz, 36, accepted a plea bargain offered by Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald. He pleaded guilty on May 1st to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing injury.
The charges stem from an August 2015 crash that killed 54-year-old David Wayne Cote and his nephew, Ivan Sandoval. Cote had custody of the child at the time of the crash.
Initially, investigators thought that Cote had been at fault in the crash. It was determined that he had been under the influence of marijuana, morphine, and alcohol at the time the accident occurred. Additionally, the child, who should have been secured in a booster seat in the back seat of the vehicle, was in the front seat.
Authorities were able to determine that Cruz was at fault in the crash. He had a blood alcohol content of .29%, well over three times the legal limit of .08%.
Cruz had a previous DUI conviction in 2008.
He is due to be sentenced on July 20th and faced up to six years in prison.