Charges for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in California can lead to some pretty severe penalties. This includes thousands in fines and assessments, jail time, suspension of your California driver license, having your car impounded, and completion of a mandatory DUI alcohol treatment program. Those penalties come just with getting caught driving drunk. However, if the DUI involved an accident where someone was injured or killed, the penalty can be a felony conviction with years spent in prison.
A Livermore man has found out just how serious DUI charges can be. Brian Zachary Jones, 25, has been charged with murder following a DUI crash. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office said that Jones was arrested last month at his home, where he was out on $350,000 bail. He will now be charged with two counts of murder and two counts of felony DUI causing injury, under California Vehicle Code 23153.
According to a press release, on May 2, 2015, Jones was driving his car at speeds from 75 to 99 miles per hour through a residential neighborhood of Livermore. At about 6:50 p.m., he lost control of his car while making a turn on the 900 block of Murrieta Boulevard, and his car went off the road. The car struck and killed 46-year-old Esperanza Morales of Seaside and her 14-month-old daughter as they were walking on a pathway, before it crashed into the back of an apartment. Two children who were playing in the back patio area of the apartment were also seriously injured.
California Highway Patrol and the Livermore Police investigated the accident, and determined Jones had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.14 percent, almost twice the legal limit of 0.08%. The investigation included accident reconstruction, and examination of the event data recorder from Jones' vehicle. Jones also had a prior DUI arrest in 2003 in Sacramento, which he pleaded down to a reckless driving charge. If convicted, Jones faces the potential for a life sentence.
According to Livermore police officer David Boyes, “Jones intentionally drove his vehicle at an extremely high speed while his blood alcohol level was over 0.08 and knew or should have known that his actions were likely to result in the death of another person.”
Jones had been attending the Livermore Wine Country Festival earlier that day, billed as “the largest celebration of wine, craft brews, arts, crafts, shopping, dining, entertainment and hometown charm in the East Bay.”
If you were arrested for a Livermore DUI, remember that just because you were arrested does not mean you have to plead guilty. At the Gorelick Law Offices, DUI defense attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her professional legal career to defending people facing DUI and other criminal charges in the East Bay. With over 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands the local Alameda and Contra Costa County DUI and criminal laws, and will make sure you get the justice you deserve. Contact a local East Bay DUI defense attorney who will fight for your rights, and keep you out of jail.