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John Bisnar
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Drunk driving leads to murder charge

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Escondido man faces 15 years to life if convicted.

The man who was allegedly responsible for the motor vehicle accident death of a Solana Beach women and then left her in the street to die, is now being charged with murder.

Brian Stephen Carnes, 41, of Escondido, had a murder count added to the charges of hit and run causing death, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving on a license suspended because of a prior conviction for driving under the influence, according to a story from the North County Wire Services.

Jeannie Franklin, 40, of Solana Beach was on her bicycle when she was allegedly plowed into by Carnes SUV. She died at the scene of the March 16th auto vs. bicycle accident just before noon on northbound Highway 101 near Solana Vista Drive. See my March 17th article.

The murder charge stems “from his prior DUI conviction and the results of an investigation” into the collision, Deputy District Attorney Brenda Daly said. The defendant’s blood-alcohol level played a key role in deciding to pursue the murder count, the prosecutor said. She would not reveal the level.

Two things that really bother me about this fatality accident, the time of day and the previous conviction. Apparently Mr. Carnes was significantly intoxicated before noon on March 16th, a Friday and had been convicted of drunk driving previously. This tells me he didn’t get the message and he didn’t get the help he needed after the previous conviction.

This drunk driving murder charge and the previous story of the drunk driving murder charge make me think of the beauty of the “Cars Against Drunk Driving” article posted here on March 14th. In that article, automakers are developing cars that will not allow and intoxicated driver to drive the car. Would such technology have saved Franklin’s life? Should such technology be mandatory for any vehicle driven by anyone who has ever been convicted of driving under the influence? I think so. What do you think?

Call a cab. It’s cheaper than 15 years to life in prison. The life you save, may be your own.