Rebecca Maez recently pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault after driving in the wrong direction of a HOV lane when she hit and killed Jenny Kush. Maez’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level registered at .251%.
The judge could have sentenced Maez up to 36 years behind bars but he settled on 10 years.
Prosecutors say Maez not only had a prior DUI but was kicked out the bar she was drinking at the night of the crash and a friend tried to take the keys from her.
Prosecutor Adrienne Greene says it’s rare to see a suspect take responsibility for their actions as Maez did during the case.
“Often as prosecutors, people think we think people are bad people. They’re not bad people. They make bad choices and mistakes. Rebecca Maez made a terrible mistake and had already made that mistake … made this so egregious,” Greene said.
Unfortunately, several people make the mistake of drinking and driving. In Michigan, there has been a decrease in drunk driving related fatalities throughout the past decade. For example, in 2011, 294 alcohol related fatalities occurred in comparison to 430 in 2004. Despite the decrease, such tragedies still occur.
Drunk Driving Vehicular Homicide in Michigan
In Michigan, Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) cases involving death generally fall into three categories and have severe consequences upon conviction:
1.Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Causing Death
a. The defendant was operating his motor vehicle in violation of MCL 257.625 (1), (3), or (8);
b. The defendant voluntarily decided to drive, knowing that they had consumed liquor and might be intoxicated; and
c. The defendant’s operation of the motor vehicle caused the victim’s death.
2.Manslaughter with a Motor Vehicle
The defendant operated the vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and
substantially caused the death of another.
a. A death,
b. caused by an act of the defendant,
c. with malice,
d. without justification or excuse.
Penalties & Sentencing
If you have been charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol Causing Death/Manslaughter in Michigan, you will face the following penalties and sentencing:
● Up to 15 years in prison
● Up to 20 years in prison if your drunk driving accident resulted in an emergency or highway worker
● Fine ranging from $2,500 to $10,000
If you are arrested and charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol Causing Death/Manslaughter, remember that you have certain constitutional rights to protect your innocence. Contact me for a free consultation. I defend Washtenaw County residents accused of drunk driving.