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When DUI Leads to Death


Just before 2:30 am on April 19th, 2014 in San Diego, California, 42 year-old Anteneh Minassie, father of 3 and working his second job as a taxi driver, was struck head on by another vehicle driving the wrong way on an off-ramp. Minassie had gotten out of his car to inspect the damage when a second car hit the taxi, throwing Minassie to the pavement and killing him.

The car that initially struck Minassie head on while going the wrong way on an off-ramp was driven by a 44 year-old woman from Phoenix, who had been on a drinking binge that night in the San Diego area. By all accounts, her head on collision with the taxi driven by Minassie was the cause of a chain reaction that ultimately ended with the loss of life. The woman fled the scene of the accident and was later found in a nearby hotel where she was arrested.

Just last month, this woman, who plead guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, was sentenced to 17 years and 8 months in prison.

Death is the ultimate consequence of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether it is the death of the person drinking and driving, his or her friends traveling along in the vehicle, or someone innocent, like the story above.

Did you know that one out of every seven deaths on the road involve drivers that are intoxicated? Alcohol has been shown to affect a person’s ability to drive properly even when taken in very small amounts. You don’t necessarily have to be over the limit to feel the impact of alcohol.

Take a look at the following DUI statistics and how they relate to death:

  • Alcohol related crashes are the leading cause of death for young Americans, between the ages of 16 and 24 years old.
  • For all Americans between 5 and 35 years of age, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death. Over 50% of these accidents are caused by alcohol-impaired drivers.
  • One American life is lost every 20 minutes in alcohol related auto crashes.
  • It is estimated that three out of every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol related accident in his or her lifetime.
  • Males (31%) were more than twice as likely as females (13%) to report driving after drinking. They also consume more alcohol before driving.
  • Over 394,000 people have died in alcohol related accidents in the past 20 years.
  • Presently over 17,000 people are killed each year in alcohol related accidents.
  • 300+ people are killed each week in alcohol related accidents.
  • 45+ people are killed each day in alcohol related accidents.

When a person admits to or is convicted of causing a death because of DUI, you can expect a very harsh penalty will follow. In the story above, the woman received a 17-year sentence, which means she will be in her 60’s before she gets out. Some sentences are even worse. It’s safe to say that a conviction of manslaughter or murder because of a DUI will change a person’s life forever.

The best way to avoid these types of charges is to choose not to drive after you’ve been drinking. If you or a close friend or family member are involved in a DUI/death case, it is very important that you have an experienced attorney working for you as soon as possible. Call Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys so we can begin working on your case right away.

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