Navy sailor, Earl Decarlos Smith Jr., 20, of Oceanside, California pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter on Wednesday.
According to California Highway Patrol, on July 7th around 6:15 a.m. Smith was driving home after drinking the previous night when his vehicle veered to the right and struck two retired school teachers on their daily walk. The victims, 79 year old Carl Henry Akermann and his 78 year old wife died at the scene.
According the Deputy District Attorney Christy Bowles, Smith’s blood alcohol content was 0.12 percent.
Smith, who had gotten lost on his way back to the Navy base, “was distracted – looking at his cell phone, the GPS on his phone – at the time he drove off the road and struck the Ackermanns,” said Bowles. Bowles also informed the court that Smith was driving at least 75 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone when he struck the victims.
At sentencing, which is set to occur on December 18, Smith will likely be sentenced to 11 years in state prison.
Let this be a reminder that a person can still be legally drunk the morning after drinking. There are other factors that go into how fast someone sobers up such as weight, sex, food in the system, the speed of the alcohol consumption, and of course how long it’s been since drinking.
There are some tools out there that assist in determining when someone will sober up, but they are by no means foolproof. Such tools include online calculators like Whenwillibesober.com, blood alcohol calculator apps for smart phones, and personal breathalyzers.
However, just because it’s morning does not necessarily mean that a person has sobered up and it could lead to a California DUI, or worse, the death of the driver or others.