A warning against drunk driving written by Raymond Morua, a former congressional aide to then Representative Lois Capps and who was sent to prison in 2014 for the hit-and-run killing of Santa Barbara resident Mallory Dies, is featured in a new book of testimonials from DUI offenders. Impact: Insights, Effects, and the Reality of Impaired Driving includes 40 firsthand accounts from inmates throughout the United States and was compiled by a support group of self-identified “DUI murderers” serving time in a Soledad correctional facility.
Morua, 38, talks about the night he hit Dies. “I had a lot of alcohol to drink,” he writes. “I don’t even know if I was having a good time. I blacked out.” He says when he came to, he was handcuffed to a table. “Now, still to this day, I cannot look in the mirror or see my reflection without feeling shame for what I have done. … I took a daughter from her parents, a sister from her siblings, and a friend from her friends. I took advantage of my community’s trust and I failed.”
Morua complains drunk driving goes beyond individual bad decisions and is instead part of a culture that accepts alcohol abuse. He blames music and movies for promoting “unremembered nights” and “drunken adventures.” “We are slammed with alcohol advertisements,” he writes. “Nowhere are we being informed or notified of the health risks. … Our laws seek to punish rather than prevent and treat.”
Before Morua’s 2014 arrest, he was convicted of DUI twice in 2006. He was also arrested for hit-and-run that year, as well as driving on a suspended license. He was placed on probation and ordered to attend a DUI diversion program. Morua is now serving his 20-years-to-life sentence at the California Men’s Penal Colony in San Luis Obispo. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2022.