A teenage girl who violated her probation by driving a year after a judge imposed a DUI sentence that forbade her from doing so is at the center of a controversy surrounding what DUI penalties she should face for an accident that took the life of two people on New Years. The teenager has not been charged with the accident at this point and so far there has been no test results released showing she was intoxicated at the time of the crash. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting however that the driver, Toni Nieves, did admit to a social worker had alcohol that night.
The maximum sentence for her probation violation is 8 months and 29 days but at a pretrial hearing the Lake County judge in the case suggested a possible six-month jail sentence for the teenager. That sentence drew outrage from the Assistant State Attorney in the case and the families of the two dead occupants of the other car involved in the crash. Judge Donna Miller said a sentence that is three months less than the maximum, which Nieves has agreed to, is not a slap on the wrist and it will save the taxpayers countless dollars from prosecuting and calling witness to add the extra three months on to her sentence.
Investigators have not charged Nieves in the crash that took the lives of 22-year-old Brian Walker of Orlando and 18-year-old Bradley Summersil of Apopka. They have not revealed their findings in the investigation that is looking into whether Nieves or Summersil was drunk at the time of the accident and who was at fault for the fatal crash. The car Summersil was driving was struck from behind by the car Nieves was driving.
Neither the family of Summersil nor the prosecutor would agree to the six-month sentence, which led to an exchange between the judge and the parents that was described as heated. The judge brought up her own child who became a quadriplegic following an accident 13 years ago.