Authorities in Hillsborough County, Florida charged Miguel Angel Utrera-Espinosa of Wimauma with DUI manslaughter after a fatal car crash February 4th. Utrera-Espinosa’s blood-alcohol level was allegedly measured at 0.079 about three hours after the crash.
While Florida law presumes impairment when a driver’s blood alcohol level reaches or exceeds 0.08, a state toxicologist reportedly determined that, at the time of the crash, Utrera-Espinosa’s blood alcohol level would have exceeded 0.08.
Utrera-Espinosa was driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer south on West Lake Drive in Wimauma, near Ruth Morris Road at about 6:30 p.m. on the 4th. His vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a Chevrolet Camaro. The driver of the Camaro, Nadia Null, also of Wimauma, suffered serious injuries. Her passenger, Wimauma resident Ruben Rivera, died as a result of his injuries.
According to county arrest records, Utrera-Espinosa admitted to drinking alcohol before the crash. Deputies also allege he does not have a valid driver’s license and is in the country illegally.
Utrera-Espinosa was initially charged with driving with a suspended license resulting in death or serious injury, as well as counts of driving without a valid license. After the toxicologist’s report returned, he was also charged last week with DUI manslaughter, DUI with serious injury and DUI with property damage.
If convicted of DUI manslaughter, Utrera-Espinosa will face up to 15 years in a Florida State correctional institution, in addition to a fine of up to $10,000. He may also face deportation.
If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges in the Tampa Bay area, you are well-advised to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to help you navigate the criminal and administrative implications of a DUI charge and/or conviction.