A 28-year-old former U.S. Marine was recently sentenced to jail for killing three other fellow marines when he crashed into a tree after driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the District Attorney’s Office, the sergeant, Jared Ray Hale was sentenced to 11 years behind bars.
The jury found Hale guilty on December 10, 2014, for a felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing serious bodily harm. He was driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 which is above the legal limit.
He also faced allegations and sentencing enhancements for driving with a blood alcohol content level of over .15% and causing severe bodily injury.
According to Orange County police, Hale arrived at a Tavern in Dana Point with three friends— Jeremiah Callahan, Christopher Arzola, and Jason Chleborad at around 2230 hours on February 13, 2012. He left the bar driving in his Dodge sedan at around 0150 with Arzola, Chleborad, and Callahan who were passengers. Police went on to further state that around 0200 hours, as Hale approached a curve at the intersection of Terra Vista and Golden Lantern, he lost control of his car.
The car rammed over the center median before crashing into a tree on the passenger's end, which went around the tree and stopped against another tree. Arzola and Callahan were pronounced dead at the scene, while Chleborad was rushed to Mission Hospital where he later succumbed to the injuries from the crash. Hale was left unconscious and also taken to Mission Hospital, where he received treatment for a fractured arm and brain trauma.
During the sentencing, written statements from each of the victim’s families were read out in court. Callahan’s father had this to say, “The sad pain and loss of my friend and son doesn’t compare to the lifelong emptiness that you’ll soon begin to experience in your life.”
Chleborad’s father also added, “This matter has dragged on for a long time, you had the opportunity to be a man, take responsibility and apologize for your actions, but you didn’t.”
In 2010, male drivers accounted for about 77.6% of DUI arrests in the state of California. But based on a study by the California Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the number of women being convicted for DUI offenses has been on the increase since 1989.
The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration states that 10,102 out of 12,012 people with a blood alcohol content of .01 or higher who resulted in fatal crashes – the figures represent 84% of the total number of people with BAC levels or higher. But drivers who had high blood alcohol content level of .15% accounted for more than half the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities. In 2009, the average conviction for a DUI offender in California was .15%.
Those who have been charged and/or arrested for a DUI offense in California are encouraged to contact a drunk driving defense lawyer they trust. A free case evaluation can be obtained from DUI defense attorney Randy Collins by calling (844) 241-1221. There is no obligation to hire.