Saturday, May 24, 2014

Drunk Driver Released from Custody before Facing Charges of Manslaughter


Photo Courtesy: The Houston Chronicle
A man was driving the wrong way on a major road in Houston, his blood alcohol at a level that is capable of killing some people. He crashed into the rear of a SUV with three adult occupants, one of whom died two days later from his injuries. The drunk driver also was hurt and had police monitoring him while he was treated at the hospital. You would think the next part of this true story would be the man was arrested as soon as he was released from medical care and will stand trial for charges of manslaughter and DWI any day now. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Florian Quintanilla-Riva had a blood alcohol content that was six times the legal limit and is responsible for the death of 79-year-old Steven James. However, for reasons they cannot, or choose not, to explain, the Houston Police Department released him from custody before any charges were made. Several days later, Quintanilla-Riva was charged with intoxication manslaughter and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Now if only the police could find out where he is.

The prevalent assumption is that the suspect has fled the country. How authorities will manage to find him now is unknown, especially as he has been missing for a month and a half. He may now be hiding in his home country of El Salvador. The James’ family can only hope that their opportunity for justice will come.

Drunk drivers are one of the biggest menaces on Texas roads. These men and women make an irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel of an automobile when their thinking and reflexes are severely impaired and the consequences are all too often horrific.

If you have been the victim of another driver’s choice to drink and drive, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering, as well as medical bills and lost time from work. Let us work with you to get you all that you deserve. Bertolino LLP has attorneys who specialize in DWI accidents and they will be strong advocates on your behalf. Contact us today.

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