The Tribune reports on a suspected drunk driver involved in an accident that killed two people. 30-year-old Rigoberto Gracida was arrested following a three-vehicle crash on Highway 154, east of Zaca Station Road on December 17th in the early morning hours.
Gracida was driving a Nissan SUV eastbound when he crossed into the westbound lanes. There, it collided with a Honda Accord, driven by Hamilton Dias Bonilla, 35. The Nissan overturned, where it was struck by a Dodge minivan driven by 43-year-old Aurelio Salvador Zaragoza.
Bonilla was pronounced dead at the scene. Also pronounced dead was a passenger in the minivan, identified as 50-year-old Antonia Bautista Santiago. Zaragoza and another passenger in the Honda suffered major injuries.
At the time of the crash, Gracida’s blood-alcohol content was reportedly .10 percent, well over the legal limit.
Gracida has been charged with a felony count of driving under the influence causing injury to four people. He is also facing special allegations for having caused great bodily injury. Gracida was also found to have been driving on a suspended or revoked license and is facing additional traffic-related charges.
A preliminary hearing on the charges is tentatively set for January 4th.
In California, if you drive with a blood-alcohol content of greater than .08% and get into an accident that injures other people, you could be looking at a felony charge. If you already have a previous DUI conviction, driving under the influence causing bodily harm is automatically a felony. The penalties for this can be severe: between two to four years in a California State Prison, with an additional year added for each person injured, up to $5,000 in fines, mandatory 18 or 30-month DUI school, and a 5-year revocation of your driver’s license, among other possible penalties. If the accident causes great bodily injury, special consideration may be given when determining penalties.
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