In a tragic DUI case, a college student has been charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence. He is also charged with driving under suspension, a second-offense count.
He is being held on bail of $31,270. The bail amount was determined by multiplying $15,000 by each of the two DUI counts and then adding $1,270 for the driving under suspension count.
According to police officers, the student had been driving on Highway 21 on Monday, Sept 2, at about 7 p.m. He was headed north in a 2008 Saturn, and drove the vehicle across a clearly marked center line while near Branchville's Wire Road. There, he hit two motorcyclists riding their BMW motorbikes. Those hit, aged 43 and 50, suffered massive blunt force trauma. According to the county coroner, both motorcyclists died shortly after the collision.
The student had a passenger in his car at the time of the incident, but that passenger was uninjured.
Conflicting portraits of the student have been painted by the respective sides in the case. His attorney paints the student as academically focused with strong family ties. In contrast, a family friend of one of the victims says that the student has a history of poor decisions.
That view is affirmed by police, who note the student's extensive criminal background. He had previously been in trouble for alcohol-related charges, failure to show up to court dates, and possession of marijuana.
The victim's family friend also expressed shock that the bond was fairly low. He felt that it should have been much higher in view of the student's long history of misdemeanors and the seriousness of the crime in the current case.
DUI cases affect victims across Arizona. Residents of the state want justice done for the victims in these cases, and strong safeguards to protect people on the road.
Source: The Times and Democrat, " College student charged with felony DUI after two motorcyclists killed in crash" Gene Zaleski, Sep. 04, 2013