Brittany Deanne Schuetz, 21, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the DUI murder of April Junhee Whang, a 26-year-old Fullerton woman in 2009. Schuetz had previously been convicted of drunk driving in 2007 and had completed subsequent alcohol education programs.
On New Year’s Eve 2009, Schuetz sped through a red light and struck Whang’s car, killing her instantly. When police arrived, they reported the smell of alcohol on Scheutz’s breath. They also noticed bloodshot and watery eyes. Her blood alcohol content was measured as 0.24, three times the legal limit. Earlier that evening, Schuetz had consumed alcohol at a party and was driven to her car. Schuetz then got into her car and drove home, ignoring her friends’ please to not drive. Because of this, Schuetz was convicted of second-degree murder in February under the legal theory that she knew driving under the influence was dangerous to life because of her prior drunk driving conviction but did it anyway.
Under the California Vehicle Code 23152, it is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or any combination thereof. It is also illegal under this section to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more. In most DUI cases, the judge and prosecuting attorney are much more likely to increase punishment when there is an accident involved. The punishment is also likely to be more severe when there is significant damage done or when a work-related vehicle is involved.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI, you should speak with a DUI attorney as soon as possible. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can provide you with the best advice on how to proceed with your case and present the best defense. At Wallin & Klarich, we have represented people accused of DUI for over 30 years. Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.