Man Who Provided Alcohol that Led to a Fatal DUI Could Face Jail Time
Being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) can be upsetting, and being in a car accident while under the influence of alcohol can be terrifying. But knowing that you caused a fatal DUI crash without even being present can be downright devastating.
Paul Stonebarger, a 21-year-old California man, could face charges related to a DUI car crash even though he was nowhere near the scene of the fatal DUI accident that took place in October, according to reports from SFGate.com.
Apparently, Stonebarger bought alcohol for 19-year-old Katie McKewon for an all-night party on October 19-20. After attending the party, McKewon allegedly drove home at around 10 am the morning of October 20th. She had a passenger, also a 19-year-old woman, in her car, sources say.
Unfortunately, reports indicate that McKewon, still under the influence of alcohol when she left the party, lost control of her vehicle and hit a car in the facing lane. The 70-year-old driver of the other car was badly injured, and the passenger in McKewon's car was killed, according to sources.
California DUI law includes a section that provides specific penalties for adults who provide alcohol to someone who is underage. Those DUI penalties increase in severity if the minor's drinking results in death or injury. Now, according to reports, Stonebarger could face a $1,000 or up to a year in county jail.
Police reports show that Stonebarger was identified by witnesses and by surveillance tapes from the liquor store at which he made his ill-advised purchases. When brought in for police questioning, Stonebarger was arrested. The police sergeant who questioned him apparently said Stonebarger was very cooperative and forthcoming.
McKewon has reportedly been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter. At the time of the accident, her blood alcohol content (BAC) was apparently measured at .23 percent, almost three times the legal limit for drivers legally allowed to drink. Under California law, any alcohol detected on a minor's breath is grounds for a DUI charge.
Interestingly, sources report that McKewon has a prior criminal record with charges related to alcohol consumption.
According to the Contra Costa Times, she was also arrested in June of this year for public drunkenness and the battery of a police officer. The Alameda Superior Court allegedly ordered her to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings three times a week.
Reports indicate that McKewon is scheduled to appear in court soon in relation to both incidents.