Three-Time DUI Offender Found Guilty of Murder

Jurors found three-time DUI offender Monica Benavidez guilty of murder during Friday’s hearing. The 37-year-old faces 23 years in prison. Benavidez caused a major head-on collision in June 2014 that took the life of 65-year-old Maria Soto Caballero in Desert Hot Springs. She tested for nearly three times the legal blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit.

The Deputy District Attorney argued that Benavidez received ample warning of the consequences of drunk driving during her other DUI convictions. Thus, her role in the deadly crash represented a conscious disregard for those warnings. Benavidez’s attorney argued that her previous convictions did not correlate to a conscious disregard for human life. Ultimately, the jury found three-time DUI offender guilty on all counts against her. She was convicted of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI.

How did Three-Time DUI Offender get back Behind the Wheel?

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), license suspension and revocation do not effectively deter offenders from driving drunk again. Three out of four drivers convicted of DUI will actually continue to drive on a suspended license. Benavidez is a tell-tale example of this broken system. Her license was first suspended after her 2006 misdemeanor DUI. She lost her driving privileges again in 2012 after receiving another DUI charge. Both times police caught her for driving on a suspended license.

Ignition Interlock Effectively Prevents Drunk Driving

Studies show that license suspension alone is rarely enough to keep a convicted DUI offender from driving drunk again. On the other hand, installing ignition interlock devices in the offenders’ vehicles is highly effective. Since 2010, these devices have prevented 1.77 million drunk driving attempts. Ignition interlock systems keep a vehicle from starting if the driver has a BAC of .08 or above.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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