Florida Woman Allegedly Texted "Driving Drunk Woo" Minutes Before Fatal Crash
Nowadays it seems as you’re almost as likely to see or hear a public service announcement about the dangers of texting behind the wheel as you are about drunk driving, but there are still plenty of “drive sober or get pulled over” billboards and PSAs. Around 4:45 AM on August 14, 2013, a 22 year old Florida woman named Mila Dago driving a rented Smart car apparently ignored all of that advice and allegedly ran a red light and broadsided a pickup truck, resulting in the death of her passenger, Irina Reinoso, also 22.
Not only did she find herself charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide but now there’s a good chance she’ll be convicted because prosecutors have recently obtained a string of text messages she sent to her boyfriend that night including the self-incriminating statement “Driving drunk woo,” sent just minutes before the crash.
When police took blood from Dago almost two hours after the collision, she still had a blood alcohol level of 0.178, more than twice the legal limit in Florida. While I believe not everyone with a BAC of 0.08 is quantifiably impaired, anything close to 0.2 is bound to be pretty drunk, unless we’re talking about an active alcoholic who has developed a high tolerance for EtOH.
Prosecutors say that Dago that night and early morning was bar-hopping with friends in the midst of a less than cordial break-up with her boyfriend. The text about driving drunk was part of a series of angry messages she sent to him including one that said “I’ll be dead thanks to you,” sent around the same time. Her last text was sent just three minutes before the fatal accident (but are DUI related fatalities “accidents”?).
Dago has plead not guilty to DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and two counts of DUI with damage to a person, for her passenger and for the driver of the truck who was seriously injured.
Photo: Miami-Dade Corrections.
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS
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There seems to be two issues here. Driving under the influence and using a hand held device. With the effort expended in passive safety devices, why not electronic counter measure for these two. 1. Drink driving. Police can detect alcohol in our breath. So, why doesn't vehicles come with built in detectors. 2. Cell, Mobile, Handy phones have a device that will neutralise the phone. Have the device designed so the phone can only work on Bluetooth or the equivalent. We have the technology.
In any case I think that texting while driving should be punished as severely as driving under the influence of alcohol.