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Driver Charged with Aggravated DUI by Jury


A jury has charged a driver with aggravated driving under the influence in a crash that took place last year. The crash resulted in serious injuries to a teenage girl who had her neck broken in the hit by the driver.

The incident happened on September 2, 2019. The driver, Joseph Jeffries, 70, of Melba, was driving across the West Avalon Street and North School Avenue when he hit the teenage victim. Jeffries was drunk at the time and was driving under the influence. Sunshine Bryden, 16, was walking her dog and going along the marked crosswalk when she was hit by Jeffries.

The sheer impact of the collision tossed Bryden nearly 70 feet. According to the details shared by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Bryden sustained serious injuries in the collision. She suffered from a broken leg and a broken neck. Her dog also sustained injuries. Following the crash, Bryden remained in critical condition for some time and had to undergo surgery. Carylon Bryden, Sunshine Bryden’s mother, said at the time that her daughter was lucky to be alive after such a collision.

Jeffries, who was charged in the collision, has a history of driving under the influence. According to the court records, he has been previously charged with DUI in 2001 and 2006. In the present case, Jeffries was charged with aggravated DUI – his blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was found to be 0.096, well above the stipulated legal limit of 0.08.

A jury has now found Jeffries guilty of aggravated DUI. His sentence is due to be pronounced at the next court date on May 20. The penalty for aggravated DUI in Idaho is up to 15 years in prison. Jeffries was also charged with persistent DUI violation. However, the charge was dismissed by the jury.

Our DUI law firm can help if you are facing DUI charges.