On Tuesday, December 20, a man from Tucson, Arizona, was given a 12-year prison sentence with 10 years of probation after a DUI car accident left one man dead in 2010.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, David-Arthur James Hitchcock, who turned 21 on the day of his sentencing, was allegedly driving 77 miles per hour on a 35-mile-per-hour road when he allegedly struck the vehicle of Guillermo Burruel from behind. The collision allegedly caused Burruel’s car to be be driven into and above a raised median on West Silverlake Road, near the Pima County jail.
The vehicle then rolled, throwing Burruel out the window and trapping his two passengers inside.
Blood tests taken by police showed Hitchcock’s blood-alcohol content was above the Arizona legal driving limit of 0.08 at 0.194. Police also noted that he was operating the vehicle on a suspended license.
In the trial, Hitchcock pleaded guilty to manslaughter and charges of aggravated driving under the influence. After the sentencing, Burruel’s sisters and fiance pleaded with Pima County Superior Court Judge Clark Munger to extend Hitchcock’s prison sentence to 21 years, the maximum penalty, on the fact that the he had been previously arrested for DUI only months before the accident, the media outlet stated.
Hitchcock’s lawyer told the judge his client has accepted responsibility for his actions, and is now committed to staying sober.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were a total of 106,177 car accidents across the state in 2010. Of that total, 5,489 accidents, or
5.17 percent, were linked to alcohol-related crashes, 210 of which were fatal, killing 223 vehicle occupants. Another 3,734 injuries caused by drunk drivers were also reported.