An Irvine man, Jeffrey Farley, was sentenced this week to a 21 year to life sentence in state prison for an accident that occurred over Memorial Day weekend. On October 7, 2013, Farley was found guilty of second degree murder and DUI with injury. He also received a sentencing enhancement for personally inflicting great bodily harm and driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or more and causing injury. He received the maximum sentence that a person in California can receive for these types of charges.
Farley and his girlfriend were driving late one night during the holiday weekend. Police say his BAC was .20 and hour and a half after the accident and was likely higher when the accident occurred. He hit another vehicle causing injury to the driver and four other passengers. Another passenger, a 14 year old girl, died from her injuries. Farley was reportedly very drunk. The Orange County District Attorney Press Release states:
At the scene, Farley displayed objective signs of intoxication including disorientation, emitting a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot, watery eyes. The defendant was unable to keep his balance when he got out of his car.
This case is receiving a lot of attention because of the details of the case. First, there is the driver's criminal record. Prior to the accident, Farley had pleaded guilty to 19 criminal charges in a 7 year period. These charges included misdemeanor DUI offenses in 2005 and 2009 and 5 charges of battery. Many people feel that is was just a matter of time before he took a life and are happy to hear that he is now facing life in prison.
Another factor that is causing interest was the fact that Farley and his girlfriend took a cab to and from the bar that night and only took their car out after coming home from a night of drinking in order to get food. They began their night with good decisions, but ended up drinking and driving any way. This case shows that judges will not hesitate to grant maximum sentences to DUI offenders, especially when lives are lost.