DUI and DWI incidents remain the largest cause of automotive fatalities in California, mentioned to be 63.5%. In 2011 there were more than 1,800 people killed by drunk drivers, and 23,621 were injured. This is heartbreaking for the families and friends that have to deal with a drunk driving accident.
On Thursday, January 12, a man was convicted of murder a year and a half after the accident that killed 4 people in June 2014. Rein Ban was driving with a friend after drinking all day, and collided head on with Suyapa Rodriguez Quezada, her sister, and her two sons. Suyapa was seriously injured, but her sister, two sons, and Ban’s passenger all died in the crash. Ban had previous DUI convictions from 2000 and 2006, and he went through the necessary procedures which included a court-mandated program and acknowledging the Watson Murder law.
Ban was aware of the dangers of driving under the influence, which was why it was easier for the court to convict him as a murderer. The father of the two boys, Jose Enriquez, is quoted saying, “He took what I love the most… He took away their hopes.” Jose and Suyapa lost their family, from a man who refused to change his drinking habits and chose to get behind the wheel time after time while being intoxicated.
Another incident occurred over Thanksgiving in 2015, a family mourned the loss of 29-year-old Juan Diaz who was killed just a block away from his house. Juan was in a car with his brother and parents when another car swerved into their lane. The family was hoping to have a nice holiday all together, but in one quick moment that was ruined.
Juan Andrade Blanco had been drinking all day before getting into his car to drive. He took an innocent life away, for what Diaz’s youngest brother says for no reason other than just to drink. The most important thing for both of these families, and most all other families, is just being together as a family. Having one of their loved ones ripped away from them by reckless driving is very hard for many to cope with. The advice from all would be to stay away from the road if you have been drinking, for the sake of others lives.