Mila Dago, the young Miami woman who angrily texted her boyfriend “Driving drunk woo” minutes before the Smart Car wreck that killed her passenger, will spend four years in prison.
Dago pleaded guilty Friday to DUI manslaughter, more than two years after the crash near Downtown Miami that killed her friend, Irina Reinoso, 22.
“I wish I could turn back time,” Dago cried while facing the Reinoso family seated in the courtroom gallery. “I know no explanation, no excuse, will heal the open wound in your hearts caused by the loss of Irina.”
In August 2013 Dago was driving a rented Car2Go Smart Car as the two visited several bars in Miami. Evidence in the case showed Dago was engaged in a bitter fight with her boyfriend, also texting him, “Ill be dead thanks to you …” and “Lata.”
Just before 5 a.m., Dago blew through a red light at Northeast 15th Street, plowing into a Chevy pickup truck. The truck’s driver survived with bumps and bruises. Reinoso, a former high-school volleyball player and Miami Dade College student, died on the scene.
Blood tests revealed Dago had a blood alcohol content level of .178 — more than double the legal limit — nearly two hours after the crash, according to police.
“We’re satisfied, as a family, with the outcome of the case. Justice was served today so we’re at peace,” said the victim’s brother, Luciano Reinoso.
He said he felt Dago’s apology was sincere. “I do believe she has a heart and it was heartfelt.”
After Dago completes her prison term, she must also serve 10 years of probation and complete community service, including talking to young people about her experience. Her sentence was the mandatory minimum required by Florida law.
In Florida, DUI manslaughter sentences can vary wildly, often dictated by the facts of the case, the criminal history of the defendant and the wishes of the relatives of the dead. A Herald analysis earlier this year found that sentences since 2012 in Miami-Dade average just over 6 years in prison, nearly 4 years below the state average.
Just last week, a judge sentenced a North Miami DJ — who took his case to trial and lost — to 22 years in prison for a fiery crash that killed two people. One day later, a Key Biscayne college student — with the blessing of the next of kin — accepted a plea deal of two years in prison for killing a cyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway.
In Dago’s case, the Reinoso family is also suing Car2Go, which allows drivers to rent cars curbside, saying the company should have safeguards in place to prevent drunk drivers from taking the wheel. The suit is ongoing.