Vehicular Manslaughter in Redondo Beach
In a tragic incident on Wednesday, December 17th in Redondo Beach, a woman crashed her vehicle on PCH killing four people including a six year old boy. Eight others were injured. The defendant, Margo Bronstein was charged with four felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of DUI based on drugs.
Ms Bronstein appeared in Torrance Superior Court on Friday last week for her arraignment. She appeared handcuffed to a gurney with two attendants at her side. The judge set bail at $500,000.
Ms. Bronstein's attorney, Jeff Gray, told reporters that the incident was an "accident" and that people should not jump to conclusions about her guilt. At the time of the arraignment, although prescription medication was blamed for the defendant's alleged intoxication, the complete toxicology reports were not yet available.
The traffic collision occurred at about 8pm on Pacific Coast Highway just outside St. James Catholic School in Redondo Beach. It is alleged that Bronstein ran a red light slamming into pedestrians. After hitting the pedestrians, the vehicle veered into an SUV. Bronstein was arrested at the scene.
Bronstein faces 40 years in state prison if convicted as charged. The next court date is January 14, 2015.
Prosecutors are increasingly concerned about Dui cases involving prescription drugs. This is a rapidly developing area of the law with some calling for set per se levels of drugs above which someone would be presumed to be impaired. At present, there is no level above which a person is presumed impaired. It depends on the drug, the person's individual tolerance and the facts of the case.
Defending a dui based on medication involves complicated issues and an understanding of how to cross-examine police officers who have been qualified as "drug recognition experts" and toxicologists. If you have been arrested for a DUI based on medication or drugs, please contact us for expert representation.