|For Immediate Release
Case # 11HF0655
February 28, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
TEXTING DRUNKEN DRIVER PLEADS GUILTY FOR KILLING BICYCLIST
NEWPORT BEACH – A drunken driver was sentenced to four years in state prison, after pleading guilty today of killing a bicyclist. Danae Marie Miller, 23, Newport Coast, is guilty of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated.
On Feb. 21, 2011, Miller consumed alcohol at her workplace, Zinc Café. At approximately 6:00 p.m., Miller drove her 2008 Volkswagen Jetta eastbound on San Joaquin Hills Road. At the same time, 41-year-old victim Amine Britel was riding his bicycle eastbound in a marked bicycle lane. Miller was repeatedly text messaging on her cell phone while driving. While she was distracted she struck Britel from behind.
Witnesses and Miller called 911. When Newport Beach police officers arrived at the scene, Miller displayed objective signs of intoxication including bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, flushed face, and an odor of alcohol. At approximately 7:45 p.m., the defendant had a blood alcohol content of .10 percent. Britel died at the scene from injuries sustained during the collision.
Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.