A 49-year-old man has been arrested for drunk driving, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter in Ventura after a car accident that killed a bicyclist and injured several others. Officials say the man who was driving a Hummer caused three separate crashes and fled the scene. The defendant has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he faces up to 18 years in prison. He had no prior criminal record or convictions, the report states.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a). According to California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a) gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is defined as “the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
These are no doubt serious charges. The severity of a drunk driving charge will usually depend on the nature and extent of the injuries and the defendant’s criminal history. An experienced Ventura vehicular manslaughter defense attorney can help protect the rights of a defendant in such cases.