Woman facing DUI charge after deadly crash said she drives ‘fine’ while high: reports

Kern's Sober Reality

The CHP determined the pedestrian who was struck and killed caused the crash by crossing outside a crosswalk

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman facing a DUI charge stemming from a deadly crash last year told officers she drives “fine” while high.

Karina Quirarte, 26, said her mistake was combining alcohol with marijuana before getting behind the wheel of her Chevy Silverado in October of last year, according to court documents. She was driving on Edison Highway when she struck and killed 45-year-old Patricia Vega, who was walking across the highway east of Mt. Vernon Avenue.

Quirarte is charged with misdemeanor DUI but does not face manslaughter charges because the California Highway Patrol determined Vega bore responsibility for the crash for crossing outside a crosswalk while wearing dark clothing in a poorly lit area, and failing to yield right-of-way to the pickup.

The Silverado’s tinted front windshield and passenger side front windows were listed by the CHP as another factor in the crash as they made it difficult for Quirarte to see Vega.

Quirarte told officers she drank half of a “tall” can of beer and smoked “half a blunt” at a friend’s house before the Oct. 26, 2019, crash. She made multiple mistakes while performing field sobriety tests, according to the documents. Officers said she had red, watery eyes, and noted a strong odor of alcohol and burnt marijuana coming from her pickup.

Quirarte said she believes she drives “fine” while high, adding, “I (expletive) up. I added drinking,” according to the documents.

Prosecutors charged Quirarte last month. She’s scheduled to be formally arraigned Thursday.

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