Last September, a young girl was walking her down a street in Kuna when she was hit by a vehicle. On September 2, Sunshine Bryden, who was just 16-years old, was struck by 70-year old Joseph Jefferies. She was taken to the hospital and suffered a broken neck and a broken leg. She had to undergo multiple surgeries according to her mom.
Jefferies had a long history of drunk driving offenses. In 2001 and 2006, he was convicted of DUI. In this latest instance, he was registered as having a blood alcohol concentration of .096. The legal limit in Idaho is only .08. Jefferies was clearly well above the legal limit.
In addition to being charged with DUI and the accident, Jefferies was also charged with being a persistent DU offender. In the last 19 years, he has been convicted of at least 3 DUI. The reports did not indicate if either of his earlier DUI involved accidents or injuries.
The crash that injured Sunshine Bryden happened on West Avalon Street near North School Avenue in Kuna. The victim was walking her dog in a marked crosswalk at the time of the accident. Her dog was also injured. As a result, Jefferies was charged with aggravated driving under the influence. There was no doubt that he was at fault.
The case was actually tried before a jury in Ada County. On Monday, March 16, 2020, the jury found the defendant guilty. He is now facing up to 15 years in prison. The charges for being a persistent violator were dismissed. There is no indication that Jefferies was ever considering a plea deal.
If you or your loved one has been charged with felony DUI in Idaho, contact our office right away.