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Man admits to causing fatal crash while driving drunk

A 19-year-old Mexican man may spend up to 30 years in a Kansas prison for killing two people while driving under the influence. The man pleaded guilty earlier this month in Jackson County Circuit Court to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. He told the judge that he had been drinking alcoholic beverages before he drove against traffic on Interstate 435 in July 2011.

As the man approached 63rd Street on the interstate, he drove directly into a car driven by a 44-year Belton woman. The woman and her 11-year-old daughter, who was a passenger in the vehicle, both died as a result of the accident.

Police reports show the fatal accident occurred at roughly 8:30 a.m. on July 4, 2011. Police think the man drove nearly 14 miles in the wrong direction on Interstates 435 and 70 before the crash occurred.

According to court records, the man's blood alcohol level was more than twice Kansas's legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. The man was also injured in the crash. He was in a wheelchair when he appeared before the judge. The judge in the case set the man's sentencing for March 9, 2012.

Because he is thought to be an illegal immigrant, the man is likely to be deported to Mexico after he finishes his sentence.

Following the crash, the man gave police officers two different Mexican identification cards. Each of the cards listed a different name and had a different photo.

Being charged with a DUI can impact a defendant's life in many ways. Not only can losing a driver's license affect getting to and from work, it can be even more of a problem if the defendant drives for a living. A DUI conviction can also mean hefty fines as well as possible jail time. Getting an attorney with experience in Kansas' DUI laws is the next best step to meeting an arrest head-on and ensuring a fair treatment in court.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Man admits driving drunk in KC, killing Belton mother and daughter," Mark Morris, Jan. 4, 2012.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Immigration question compounds I-435 tragedy," Mary Sanchez, Jul. 6, 2011.

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