Miami-Dade County

UM student in deadly DUI crash may get stiffer sentence

A problem has arisen for a 21-year-old University of Miami student who turned herself in on Tuesday to begin a prison sentence for a deadly drunk driving accident.

Ivanna Villanueva, along with her attorney and family members, arrived at the Miami-Dade courthouse on Tuesday morning for a final hearing before she would officially surrender. As part of the process, she was required to take a drug test. Villanueva was unable to complete the first test. During a second test, the result tested positive for a banned substance, sources told CBS 4.

Ed Griffith, a Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office spokesman, would not confirm the test result, but did acknowledge there was an issue.

“The issues are relating to concerns related to medical prescriptions, which may or may not be posing a problem,” Griffith said.

Griffith told CBS 4’s Peter D’Oench, “What I can say is that there will be an analysis tomorrow in court explaining whether or not we have doctor’s orders that are being followed and can raise a concern or not.”

The hearing was re-set for Wednesday when a full analysis of the test result will be presented in court. Villanueva’s family will also have to produce a note from her doctor that states she was prescribed the medication.

The terms of Villanueva’s plea deal include three years in prison, 15 years of probation and one thousand hours of community service for the deadly 2011 accident that claimed the life of Eyder Ayala. Villanueva will also have to make a donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving on the anniversary of Ayala’s death.

If Villanueva fails to pass the drug test, her sentence will radically change.

“Illegal substance abuse as part of the deal can lead to a 15-year prison term,” said Griffith.

The accident occurred at the intersection of LeJeune Road and Majorca Avenue. According to police, Villanueva was driving at a high rate of speed when she slammed into the rear Ayala’s car. Ayala, a mother to five and grandmother to seven, died at the scene.

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