Man Charged with Vehicular Homicide has Prior DUI - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Man Charged with Vehicular Homicide has Prior DUI

KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Kennewick man who Benton County Prosecutors allege killed Samantha Semmern in a drunk driving crash last August was still on probation for a past DIU offense.

According to court documents, David Pleake plead guilty in April of 2005 for driving drunk on Highway 240 in Benton County with a blood alcohol level of .24.  That reading is three times the legal limit of .08. 

Pleake entered a deferred prosecution program for that DUI and admitted to an alcohol addiction.

On Monday, he was charged with vehicular homicide after investigators said it was his drunk driving that killed Semmern.  Again, his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

One defense attorney who deals with drunk driving cases said the deferred prosecution program doesn't always make our roads safer.

"The majority of the ones I see usually don't work because people either don't take it seriously or it fails because they don't use their interlock device or because of a new offense," said Randy Jamison of Armstron, Klym, Waite, Atwood and Jamison Law Firm in Richland.

Pleake did have an ignition interlock device on his car, but it was only ordered for a year.  Three months after the order was up, Samantha was killed.

A hold has been put on Pleake's driver's license.  On Tuesday, prosecutors argued he should not have it restored.  His defense said he needs it for work.

The judge in the case has not made a ruling on the matter.