Last week, Sherri Lee Chinn was driving on Highway 1, which is just north of Santa Cruz, when her car went from the southbound lane to the northbound lane. A man driving a motorcycle, Jose Absalon Barrientos, was hit head-on and died immediately. Passengers of a car in front of Chinn’s car also got hit and were badly injured. Drivers stopped to help the accident victims and could smell the alcohol coming from Chinn. Officers arrived and after testing her, realized her blood alcohol level was at a .24% (three times the legal limit). All the injured people were taken to the hospital where another victim died. Chinn was arrested and faces charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.
If Chinn is convicted of all these charges, she can face up to life in prison. Often times, people do not know that they are drunk because they have consumed just one or two alcoholic beverages. If a person’s blood alcohol level is at a .24%, as in this case, the person has consumed far more than just a few drinks. If you are unsure about driving, call a cab or a friend to drive you home. Besides prison time, Chinn will likely have to take alcohol education classes and will have her license suspended for even longer. Whether you live in Stanton, Brea or Laguna Niguel, if you are charged with DUI manslaughter, call an experienced DUI defense attorney to assist you.