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DUI charge after passenger drowns when trapped in submerged car

When drivers are faced with flood waters while they are traveling on California highways, it is best to obey restrictions and safety measures put in place by authorities. When Yuba County experienced heavy downpours of rain recently, some highways were under six to eight feet of water. A man who allegedly disregarded diverting cones on Highway 70 in such dangerous conditions is now facing a DUI charge.

California Highway Patrol officers reported that the 55-year-old driver was traveling north on Highway 70 when he encountered a closure marked with flares and cones. He allegedly veered onto the median and traveled around the obstruction at a speed of approximately 65 mph. It appears he failed to recognize the danger of the flood water, and within seconds, his car was submerged.

The driver managed to escape the submerged car, but his 51-year-old passenger was not so lucky. She was trapped inside the car and lost her life before emergency divers could rescue her. The driver was arrested, and he will now be facing charges of DUI and gross vehicular homicide while intoxicated.

As this case moves forward, the man may wish to explore his options in defending a DUI charge under California law. The support and advice of an experienced DUI defense attorney are vital, especially when the charges include vehicular manslaughter. The defendant will have the opportunity to challenge the prosecutor's evidence when the case goes to trial. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, and unless the charges are proved beyond a reasonable doubt, a conviction is not possible.

Source: kcra.com, "Marysville woman dies after being trapped in submerged car", March 6, 2016

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