For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 09, 2016
San Rafael, CA -- On September 8, 2016, the Marin County District Attorney filed second-degree murder charges against Kristine Marie Collier.
Collier was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. 101, north of San Antonio Road, in Marin County, on August 19, 2016, at approximately 1:11 a.m. This action led to a major injury collision, in that the vehicle driven by Collier struck a Honda Odyssey, causing fatal injuries to its driver. Injuries to Collier necessitated an air evacuation for medical treatment.
The California Highway Patrol investigation established Collier as the driver of the wrong-way vehicle. The odor of an alcoholic beverage was detected on her breath, and she admitted she had been drinking that day, specifically, that she had been wine tasting. A hospital alcohol blood test taken at 2:40 a.m. showed Collier's blood alcohol level to be a .086 percent blood alcohol concentration. Inside the passenger compartment area of Collier's vehicle were several open wine bottles containing contents testing positive for the presence of alcohol.
According to Sonoma County records, Collier is on DUI probation out of Sonoma County through April 8, 2018. She was arrested on suspicion of DUI on November 7, 2014, and on April 8, 2015, pled to a violation of Vehicle Code section 23152(b), driving with a blood alcohol of .08 percent or greater, and she admitted an enhancement under Vehicle Code section 23572 for having minor passengers in the car while driving under the influence. Among the conditions of her Sonoma County probation, she was not permitted to drive a motor vehicle with any measurable alcohol in her system.
At the time of her admission of guilt, Collier had been advised of, and initialed, the "Watson murder admonition" on her DUI change of plea form. This admonition gives notice to a DUI offender that if he or she is involved in a subsequent DUI violation that results in the death of an individual that California law exposes the individual to a possible second-degree murder charge.
Furthermore, Sonoma County court minutes revealed Collier had taken and completed the first offender DUI school on June 16, 2015. The dangers of alcohol-impaired driving were addressed in this course.
As a result of her conduct and actions, Collier is charged with murder in violation of Penal Code section 187, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in violation of Penal Code section 191.5, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury in violation of Vehicle Code section 23153(a), driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or above (where bodily injury has occurred) in violation of Vehicle Code section 23153(b), and driving the wrong way on a highway (resulting in an accident causing death of an individual) in violation of Vehicle Code section 21651(c).
If convicted of these offenses, Collier faces a potential life term in state prison.
Ed BerberianDistrict AttorneyCounty of Marin
Marin County Civic Center3501 Civic Center DriveSan Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6450