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Troubling history of deadly Fresno County DUI crash suspect

Rien Ban, the suspect in the deadly crash near Mendota has a long history of driving arrests and this deadly crash will likely lead to murder charges.
If the evidence proves he was under the influence, ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi says he'll have a hard time beating murder charges.
Monday, June 23, 2014
The suspect in the deadly crash near Mendota has a long history of driving arrests and this deadly crash will likely lead to murder charges.

A search of Fresno County court records revealed Rien Ban has at least two previous DUI convictions and his pattern of driving without a license has been ongoing for at least 18 years.

The deadly scene may be the first crash involving Ban and intoxicated driving. But his criminal record includes at least two prior DUI convictions -- in 2000 and 2006 -- and at least nine convictions for driving with a revoked or suspended license, dating back to 1996.

Repeat DUI offenders are a frustrating reality to a mother who lost a child to drunk driving.

"They continue to do it and the courts continue to give them a light sentence and let them out until something tragic happens and people are injured or tragically killed," said Vicky Flores.

Flores now works with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, supporting the families of other victims as they wait for justice in courtrooms. She's hoping Fresno County lawmakers will adopt a preventative program.

"We need maybe Interlock in Fresno County where these offenders are made to have some kind of a device on their car so they can't repeat," she said. "They can't drive drunk. They can't injure and kill innocent people."

Tulare County started using the devices for first-time DUI offenders four years ago. But the pilot program wouldn't have been able to stop Ban. CHP officers say he was driving, but he has no license and the SUV wasn't his.

If the evidence proves he was under the influence, ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi says he'll have a hard time beating murder charges.

"His only hope is to get sympathy from a jury and I can't imagine any jury having sympathy for a driver like this killing four people," he said.

An Action News reporter talked to Ban's daughter on the phone Monday afternoon and while she understands her father's previous arrests don't look good, she told us the other driver is responsible for the crash.

She also told us her father may have been on prescription drugs like Vicodin and Valium after a recent hospital stay for back pain.



Related Topics:
news crimetracker DUI dui crash crash Fresno Mendota
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