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Pregnant woman faces DUI charges after fatal crash

A woman who is said to have been drinking and driving when she killed a man recently in California has pleaded not guilty. She entered her plea on a Tuesday to two felony counts of DUI. She also faces a charge of vehicular manslaughter.

Police said the 23-year-old woman might have passed out while driving when the crash occurred on a Friday along Highway 41 at 9:50 p.m. The woman is pregnant and had a blood alcohol content of 0.32 at the time of the accident. That is quadruple the 0.08 legal limit.

The accident took place when the woman reportedly collided her car with the back of a Hummer H3. Following the impact, the 40-year-old driver of the Hummer lost control of his vehicle and left the roadway. He ended up going down an embankment and had to be taken to the hospital. The collision killed three other people, ages 47, 40 and 48. A charge of murder could possibly be filed against the woman.

The woman faces a minimum of 15 years behind prison bars if she is convicted of vehicular manslaughter that includes great bodily injury, and if she is convicted of murder, she may face between 20 and 25 years behind bars. A person in California who is accused of DUI may go to trial to try to defend his or her innocence, or he or she might accept a plea deal if one is offered by the prosecution. The benefit of a plea agreement is that it might lead to a more lenient sentence compared with what would be rendered in the event a conviction is secured at trial.

Source: fresnobee.com, "Pregnant Clovis woman pleads not guilty in fatal DUI crash", Rory Appleton, May 24, 2016

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