On Monday, 19 year old Ashly Nicole Rodriguez of Murrieta pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and felony driving under the influence.
The victim, 19 year old Aaron Michael Ellis, was fatally ejected from Rodriguez’s vehicle after she lost control of her car and it overturned. Rodriguez was arrested on the scene. It was later determined that her blood alcohol content was 0.19%, more than twice the legal limit. Rodriguez faces up to 10 years in prison at her sentencing hearing set to take place on June 28th.
In a previous blog titled “Dram Shop Laws in California,” I mentioned that California Civil Code section 1714(d) allows for liability to be placed on a host who knowingly furnishes alcohol to minors that later cause death or damage as a result of the intoxication. Rodriguez and her passengers had come from a party hosted by a 20 year old woman and her 41 year old mother who provided alcohol to guests under the age of 21. While it has yet to be determined if the 20 year old woman and her mother face a civil suit based on this code, the case has been referred to the Riverside District Attorney for possible criminal charges for the hosts.
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