Last February in the affluent coastal community of Newport Beach, California, a bicyclist lost his life when a drunk driver was texting while on the road and veered into the rider. Orange County Superior Court Judge Derek G. Johnson ruled Thursday, December 1, 2011, that 23 year old Danae Miller will stand trial. If convicted she faces up to 10 years in prison for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The felony charge is the result of an accident on San Joaquin Hills Road that killed Amine Britel, a Moroccan athlete who came to the United States and ran a local business.
Initially, Miller told authorities that she had not been drinking before she got behind the wheel on that fateful day. She also claimed that she had not been using her cell phone either; however, phone records indicated that she had been exchanging text messages with friends in the minutes leading up to the crash. A blood test after the crash showed Miller had a blood alcohol concentration of .10, above the legal limit.
Danae Miller had a history of bad driving, to the point where it’s a wonder how she still had a driver’s license. According to court records, Miller had been cited a total of 16 times for alleged traffic violations. The Daily Pilot reports that Miller received six tickets for speeding or driving too fast for conditions each year between 2005 and 2009, a ticket in 2006 for driving the wrong way on a street, a failure to stop at a stop sign in 2007, and tickets in 2009 and 2010 for talking on her cell phone while speeding.
As sad as it is, Miller’s record clearly showed she was a hazard to herself and to others, yet, for some reason the DMV didn’t pull her license and something tragic occurred. Miller is out on $100,000 bail and is scheduled back in court on December 12th.