A Newport Coast woman pleaded guilty in February to vehicular manslaughter charges, according to Patch.com. Danae Marie Miller, 23, is sentenced to four years in state prison. She was drunk when she struck and killed 44-year-old cyclist Amine Britel with her car in February of 2011.
Prosecutors also claim that Miller was texting at the time of the fatal bicycle accident. Britel was riding his bicycle on Joaquin Hills Road when Miller hit him in her Volkswagen Jetta. Statistics show that drinking and driving and texting while driving each increase your chances of getting in an accident significantly—so doing both at the same time undoubtedly raises them exponentially. According to reports, Miller had been drinking at her place of employment and was on her way home—her BAC measured .1 when tested two hours after the crash. She had been cited for 15 traffic violations previously, according to court reports.
There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel intoxicated, or for distracted driving. This accident was 100% preventable, and the crime certainly warrants the serious charges. Law enforcement needs to crack down on drivers who risk lives. Until then, be sure to stay alert and as visible as possible while cycling.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego wrongful death attorney.