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Man receives 34 years to life for fatal drunk driving accident

A California man received the maximum sentence for killing two Caltrans workers in a drunk driving accident. The 25-year-old man was sentenced to spend 34 years to life in state prison as a result of an accident that happened on July 22, 2012. According to reports, the accused man had one prior DUI conviction on his record.

The fatal incident happened along the 405 Freeway in Torrance while the accused man was driving 90 mph in a Ford Explorer. At approximately 3:30 a.m., the man drove through a construction zone close to the Artesia Boulevard off-ramp. When the man's vehicle hit a second SUV from behind, the other SUV struck and killed a 58-year-old worker and a 56-year-old worker. A third worker was injured but survived.

Following the collision, the accused man was given a test that determined he had a blood alcohol content of .21. According to prosecutors, friends of the accused man had attempted to persuade him not to drive prior to the accident. He was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of DUI causing injury.

A defendant who is facing drunk driving charges may be able to receive a lighter sentence by pleading guilty. In some cases, an attorney may be able to assist a person accused of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated to work out a plea deal. A plea deal may involve a defendant's agreement to participate in an alcohol treatment program in exchange for a shorter prison sentence. A judge may be more willing to agree to a plea deal when the defendant has no prior drunk driving convictions on their record.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Man Sentenced in Drunk Driving Deaths of Caltrans Workers", Daniel Rodriguez , July 11, 2014

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