Drunk driver in Sunset Cliffs crash gets work furlough
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 09/20/17 - 01:35 PM | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A drunk driver, who crashed into a palm tree in the Sunset Cliffs area and injured his three children, was sentenced Tuesday to 60 days in a work furlough center.

Noel Bences, 29, will be allowed to go to work every day, but will be confined to a work furlough facility where he will be living nights and on weekends, said Deputy District Attorney Samira Seidu.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Groch placed Bences on five years probation and gave him credit for five days spent in jail following the May 12 incident when his car struck the tree at 1100 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. at 8:30 p.m.

Seidu asked for custody in jail while Bences' lawyer sought home detention in a program with the sheriff's department. Groch allowed Bences to remain free on $100,000 bond until he surrenders Sept. 28 to begin his sentence.

His blood/alcohol level was .23, which is almost three times the legal limit. His car overturned when it hit the palm tree, resulting in injuries to all three children. He pleaded guilty to drunk driving and child endangerment charges, and could have received a prison term of six years and eight months.

The prosecutor said Bences was ordered to follow standard alcohol conditions for a first time offender, which includes attendance at a victim impact panel presented by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

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