Dana Point, CA- When a person is charged with a DUI, they must follow the advice of their DUI attorney and atone for their actions. That’s exactly what one California man was doing but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time one night in late April and was killed in a drunk driving accident.
Just one day after pleading guilty to his third DUI, a Haitham Gamal was struck and killed by young driver who police believe was intoxicated.
Gamal, 38, a married father of two children was paying his dues for his three DUI arrests. He lost his license and sold his car like the court ordered, something many fail to do, Gamal’s DUI attorney told the Orange County Register. He started using a bicycle as his primary means of transportation and even completed a rigorous rehabilitation program.
But on April 29th just a day after entering his plea, Gamal was struck and killed by another alleged drunken driver, the Orange County register reported.
The accident took place in Dana Point around 11:15 p.m. as Gamal was riding his bike when he was struck on the Pacific Coast Highway by a 19 year-old motorist who police suspect was intoxicated and was speeding. Police have not released the identity of the driver.
Gamal was killed instantly.
After striking Gamal, the driver’s vehicle flipped over and landed on the roof. The driver and an 18 year-old passenger in the vehicle were injured. They were both treated at a local hospital for moderate but non-life threatening injuries.
Police are still investigating the accident and are awaiting the results of a blood test before charging the driver.
Gamal’s DUI attorney, Walter Cole who was by Gamal’s side when he entered his guilty plea told the OC Register, “A lot of my clients are in denial. … He wasn’t.” Cole added, “He was on the road to recovery.”
Gamal pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in 2005 and 2009. For his second offense, he was given three years’ probation which violated shortly after his sentencing. In 2012, Gamal was arrested for public intoxication and a month later he was charged with his third DUI.
After pleading guilty to his third DUI, Gamal was sentenced to spend 45 days in jail and five years’ probation. He was due to spend 20 days behind bars and 45 days of house arrest. Cole said he had a couple of months before he was supposed to report to jail.
Gamal unlike many DUI offenders took his latest charge seriously. The penalties for a first DUI can be minor and for a person who has a problem with drugs or alcohol the penalties may not be enough for them to get the help they need for their substance abuse problem. Almost half of all first-time DUI offenders will be charged for the same offense one or more times.
Whether it is a first DUI or a second, third or fourth, every person facing these charges needs the advice of a DUI attorney. When a person follows their recommendations, it is possible to negate the more negative aspects of being charged with a DUI.