If a person decides to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you are underage in California, they could be facing enhanced charges. California has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage DUI, so any amount of alcohol could send a teen to jail. If the DUI seriously injures or kills someone, that same teenager could be treated as an adult now, courtesy of Proposition 57. Proposition 57, which was approved by voters in 2016, gives the court the authority to determine if a minor should be tried as an adult.
The Modesto Bee reports on a 17-year-old facing murder charges in connection with a 2017 DUI that killed the mother and daughter she crashed into during the accident.
17-year-old Britaney Elvira Gomez is facing two counts of murder due to an alleged DUI crash that killed 54-year-old Sherri Cooley, and her daughter, 21-year-old Megan Cooley. The charges were filed on October 31st in Stanislaus Superior Court.
Gomez’s case has been transferred from juvenile to adult court. Gomez is being held at the Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall since she was released from treatment following the accident.
The deadly crash happened at about 8:20 p.m. on November 29th, 2017, when Gomez was driving a 2006 Mercedes Benz with two passengers. Gomez was driving north on Tully and speeding. Cooley was driving a Ford Escape south on Tully and was turning to head east on Rumble. This is when Gomez struck the Cooley’s vehicle, causing it to roll over.
At the time of the accident, authorities believe that Gomez was under the influence of marijuana.
At a hearing on November 1st, Gomez pleaded not guilty to the two murder charges. She also pleaded not guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as one charge of driving under the influence of a drug causing injury.
Gomez is scheduled to return to court on December 11th for a pretrial hearing.