A man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for a drunken driving accident that resulted in serious injuries to a teenage girl. The incident took place back in September, 2019 but a sentence was pronounced by an Ada County District Court Judge only now.
The accused has been identified as Joseph Jeffries, 70, of Melba. Jeffries was driving in Kuna when he caused the accident. As he drove at the West Avalon Street and North School Avenue, he failed to slow down for a pedestrian on a marked crosswalk. The pedestrian was identified as Sunshine Bryden, 16. Bryden was walking her dog at the time. Jeffries ended up hitting Bryden at a high speed.
The sheer impact of the collision led Bryden to move around 70 feet along the street. She sustained several serious injuries as a result of the collision. These included a broken neck and a broken leg. Following the incident, Bryden had to undergo multiple surgeries to begin the recovery. She was subsequently stable and out of danger. Bryden’s dog was also injured in the incident.
Jeffries was apprehended by the law enforcement following the accident. He was tested for blood alcohol levels and the results revealed that his blood alcohol was 0.096, above the legal limit of 0.08. He was subsequently charged with aggravated DUI.
As the case proceeded, Jeffries was convicted by a jury back in March this year. A number of previous DUIs on his record played a role in his being convicted. Previous DUI convictions on his record date back to 2001 and 2006. Following his conviction, a judge has now sentenced Jeffries to 15 years in prison. The sentence may be trimmed down as Jeffries will be eligible for parole after 10 years. Even after he is released from prison, his driving license will remain suspended for another 5 years.