In California, if you are a driver involved in a fatal DUI, there are three charges that you could potentially be charged with by prosecutors. One charge is murder, but this charge requires very specific circumstances. The two more likely charges are vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The second is the more serious charge because it implies that a person acted with gross negligence. The penalty for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated can be 4, 6, or 10 years in prison, depending on the circumstances. Cal Coast News reports on a woman convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
25-year-old Jessica Lea Allred was convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two counts of DUI resulting in injury on July 6th.
The charges stem from an April 30th, 2016 accident in which Allred, returning home from a Pozo Stampede concert, crossed the double yellow line on Highway 58. She crashed head-on into 56-year-old Denise Fox, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
At the hospital, Allred was shown to have a blood-alcohol-content of .17, more than two times the legal limit.
The jury opted not to convict Allred of the charge of gross vehicular manslaughter, which would have held a prison sentence of up to 10 years. It is unclear what her prison sentence will be on the charges she was convicted on.
During the trial, Allred took the stand, stating that she drank three beers as well as water during a four-hour period leading up to the accident. The defense also argued that the blood sample that determined her blood-alcohol-level was mishandled, as the nurse who took the sample had never taken a DUI sample before.
Allred also testified that she did not drive to the concert and only drove on the way back. She stated that the roadway was unfamiliar and it included a dangerous blind curve.