By WooJung Choi |Staff Writer|
2 drunk 2 care” driver Kaila Mendoza, charged with driving under the influence, manslaughter and vehicular homicide, was sent to jail for 24 years, according to David McCormack of Daily Mail.
The incident occurred on a Florida highway around 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2013, according to Daily Mail. Mendoza, 20 at the time, celebrated a friend’s 21 birthday by drinking at Tijuana Taxi Company in Coral Springs.
At approximately 8 p.m., Mendoza tweeted “2 drunk 2 care” and a few hours later, she drove off, according to Daily Mail.
Mendoza drove on the wrong side of the road and crashed into another vehicle; the driver and passenger were her two friends, according to David McCormack of Daily Mail.
Marisa Catronio was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, according to Lee Moran of Daily News. Kaitlyn Ferrante died four days later at her stay in Broward Health North Hospital, according to Daily News.
“[Mendoza] had a blood-alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit and marijuana in her system at the time of the accident,” according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Many people believe Mendoza tweeted “2 drunk 2 care” in respect to her driving partially because of her social media presence.
On Twitter, she is a self-proclaimed “pothead princess” who has proudly admitted that her car forever-smells like marijuana and she “can’t sleep without [her] bedtime blunt.”
However, Mendoza said the tweet was directed to her boyfriend after a fight. “It did not mean, ‘I’m too drunk to care and I’m going to get in my car now and wherever the hell I end up, that’s it.’ No,” said Mendoza.
“It was directed to my boyfriend. That’s the only person it was for,” added Mendoza.
The justice department sentenced Mendoza to 24 years of imprisonment for her DUI and killing two people.
“The court should charge additional punishment to her,” said student Myunghoon Lee.
Lee added that if he were more cynical, he would believe Mendoza tried to attract the public’s interest.
“Her Twitter posts make it hard to sympathize with her. She seems like a careless, unambitious chick. I don’t think we should judge her on the stupid things she posted, just in the events of that night, but still,” said student Lacy Dickensauge.
“I hate how she’s getting all this media attention. I think TMZ and some other places interviewed her. It’s almost like she’s being glamorized for the shitty decision she made,” said student Yvette Virgen.
Student Jaime Barajas said, “It’s crazy that the restaurant didn’t card her.”
“I don’t blame the restaurant, but if they were more professional, two people would probably still be alive,” continued Barajas.
“I don’t think 24 years is enough. Two young people are dead and she’s going to sit around and get fat on our tax dollars,” said student Cesar Marin.
Many Coyotes are content with the 24-year sentence while others remain unconvinced that it was an adequate punishment.