Cops link fatal DUI to wine festival

The driver involved in an alleged DUI crash that took the life of a woman and her baby when a car crashed into an apartment in Livermore Saturday evening was at a wine festival prior to the crash and has already been released on bail, according to police.

Brian Jones, a 35-year-old Livermore resident, allegedly lost control of his vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Preliminary tests indicate that Jones was driving with a 0.13 percent blood-alcohol content or higher, according to Officer Ryan Sanchez.

Investigators believe Jones had been drinking at the Livermore Wine Country Festival prior to the crash, which occurred at roughly 6:50 p.m. Saturday in the 900 block of Murrieta Boulevard.

A 40-year-old woman from Seaside and her 14-month-old daughter were pronounced dead at the scene. Their identities are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin, according to officials with the Alameda County coroner’s bureau.

Two boys, ages 6 and 7, were also taken to a hospital in stable condition after the crash, according to police.

Jones was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury.

Sanchez said:

“We know that he was at the wine country festival, but we don’t know what time he left. …¬†They stopped serving alcohol at 5 p.m. and the crash happened about an hour and 50 minutes later.”

Sanchez said that the wine festival is permitted by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and vendors receive training about serving intoxicated individuals. Livermore police also maintain a presence at the festival, identifying visibly intoxicated people and helping them find sober rides, according to Sanchez.

There are unanswered questions about when Jones stopped drinking and what he did after leaving the wine festival, according to Sanchez, but police will be looking into those questions as the investigation continues.

Sanchez said:

“With a crime of this magnitude we focus on the collision itself and then over time we branch out.”

Anyone who witnessed the crash or has additional information about the events that led up to the fatal incident is asked to contact the Livermore Police Department at (925) 371-4777.