On October 12, 2010, the Orange County Superior Court gave a drunk driver a 20 years to life sentence in prison for driving drunk and killing a pedestrian. Joel Torrejon Miranda, the 41-year-old drunk driver, killed a pedestrian in February 2009, and has been convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter.
Miranda, of Santa Ana, was involved in a car accident on February 1, 2009, which led to hitting and killing 44-year-old pedestrian Francisco Aquino. Police reports show that he turned left into an apartment complex from Newhope Street at approximately 7:15 p.m., when a Mercedes-Benz struck his truck. The truck went up onto the curb and hitpedestrian Aquino.
Miranda left the scene of the crash, but was later found by police. Officials tested Miranda for drunkenness approximately one hour after the accident, finding his blood-alcohol level to be 0.23, about three times the legal limit. They arrested him on DUI charges. Officials also discovered that Miranda had three prior DUI convictions on his record from 1995, 1997, and 2004.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gary S. Paer warned Miranda not to drive drunk ever again. He also said, “This is a harsh lesson to be learned from this case. It’s hard to believe it could come to this and that someone couldn’t learn from the past.”
Miranda will be eligible for parole after ten years of his sentence.