According to police, 19 year old Kayla Garcia was drunk when she caused a chain reaction accident which caused nearly $30,000 in damage. Garcia was driving on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Miami, Florida on the night of January 20, 2014 when she caused the four vehicle crash. At the scene, witnesses say that cans of beer fell out of her car when she exited and the police report states that Garcia showed signs of being drunk. Garcia allegedly had glassy eyes, slurred speech and difficulty standing and could not complete field sobriety tests. The 19 year old was charged with multiple offenses related to the crash, including a First Offense DUI, a DUI with a BAC of Over .15, four counts of DUI Property Damage and careless driving. While this is Garcia’s first DUI, it is not her first arrest. Garcia apparently has an open criminal case in Miami-Dade County as well as Broward County for disorderly intoxication and grand theft auto from December of last year. Most likely because of her other pending charges, she was given an especially high bail of $40,000, must wear a GPS monitor and must submit to weekly drug and alcohol testing.
Because she was under 21, Garcia could have been charged with a DUI if she had a BAC that was anything above a .02. While it has not been made public what Garcia’s BAC actually was, it appears to have been quite high based on the additional charge of DUI with a BAC of over .15. Because of the exceptionally high BAC, she is going to face harsher penalties than if she had just been pulled over for drinking and driving alone. Even for a first time offender, she faces a sentence of a fine between $1000 and $2000, community service, and jail time of up to 9 months along with a suspension of her license.
Garcia also faces additional fines and penalties because of the damage that she caused in this accident, which affected three cars besides the one she was driving and is valued at a little more than $27,000. DUI property damage is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida, meaning that she faces additional jail time and fines on top of the ones that she can face due to the drinking and driving alone. She could face fine of up to a $1000 fine and 1 year in jail for each count (there were four counts).
Because of the amount of property damage that resulted from this accident, along with the high BAC, it seems probable that Garcia may see some jail time because of this instance of alleged drunk driving. When you add in a prior alcohol charge related to her arrest in December 2013 and the high bail set for her in this drunk driving case, it is very possible that the court will give her an especially harsh sentence, especially if she does not seem willing to enter treatment for an apparent alcohol problem.
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