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Old 11-23-07, 03:20 AM
Arrogant Safety Nanny
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Santa Maria, CA
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The story says she was driving on a suspended license, and had recently been to a MADD function, but doesn't say why her license was suspended.
If she had a prior DUI and committed a homicide while committing another DUI, that could result in a 2nd degree murder charge in California. We discussed exactly this situation in one of my criminal justice classes a while ago and that fact was made very clear. With no prior DUI convictions, it would probably be charged as manslaughter.

The punishment for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with a prior DUI in California is 15 years-life imprisonment (see California penal code section 191.5(2)(d)- is a great place to look up California laws from their source). The punishment for normal 2nd degree murder is also 15-life.

With no prior DUI she'd be looking at PC191.5(a)-gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (a felony punishable by 4, 6, or 10 years in state prison) or PC191.5(b)-vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (a wobbler punishable by up to 1 year in county jail or 16 months, 2 years, or 4 years in state prison). So with no prior DUI convictions one could kill somebody while driving intoxicated and have it punished as a misdemeanor in California.

I know this particular incident didn't happen in California...just clarifying for the previous poster and adding some information for the "penalties aren't harsh enough" discussion.
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