Fatal DUIs Spike Amid COVID-19

DUI Driver Sentenced to Prison for Fatal Crash

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that defendant Maricela Diaz, 24, was sentenced to six years in prison for gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with a 2022 crash that killed El Cajon resident Roberto Mendez Sanchez, 49.

Diaz, who was 23 at the time of the crash, had a measurable blood-alcohol content of about 0.24% after the crash, which is three times the legal limit for driving. Although Diaz was sentenced to six years, prosecutors argued for the maximum sentence under the law, which is 10 years in prison.

“It is heartbreaking that yet another precious life is lost to a completely preventable crime,” DA Summer Stephan said. “The power to end these senseless losses of life is in every driver’s hands. If you plan on drinking, have a designated driver, take a cab, or use a rideshare service. Simply do not get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and know that if you do, you will be held accountable.”

On June 6, Diaz pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI with injury.

Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans prosecuted this case.