Appeals court upholds county’s first marijuana-only DUI conviction

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An appeals court has affirmed the first Kern County murder conviction stemming from a marijuana-only DUI fatality case.

Rudolfo Contreras was sentenced to 20-years-to-life for killing David Aggio in March 2014. 

Contreras was found guilty of second-degree murder while impaired by marijuana.

Police and prosecutors said Contreras was driving south on Gosford Road when he crossed the median and hit Aggio’s car just south of Stockdale Highway. 

Contreras made several arguments on appeal, including the contention that his marijuana intoxication was not so severe that he knew he was endangering other people’s lives.

The appeals court noted there were signs at the dispensary where he bought his pot and warned against driving while high.

Justices were unanimous in voting to uphold the conviction and a 20-years-to-life sentence.

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