LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The woman at the center of a deadly DUI crash in Las Vegas last week has a history of drunk driving, court records show.
Eileen Gonzalez faced DUI charges in 2016. Metro Police said Gonzalez got behind the wheel impaired again on Wednesday. She’s accused of hitting and killing a Las Vegas mother near Sahara Avenue and Jones Boulevard.
“It's heartbreaking and it’s frustrating because you're wondering, ‘What is it? What more can we do?’” Stop DUI founder Sandy Heverly said.
Heverly has spent decades advocating against drunk driving in the valley.
To see that a past offender is now facing deadly DUI charges ... “the whole thing is just sickening. It's just truly sickening that we have to see this,” she said.
Metro Police suspect Eileen Gonzalez was under the influence of drugs she allegedly caused a crash that killed Christina Gates. Emergency services used two doses of Narcan to revive her when they found her passed out.
Gates, a mother of four, was running errands and had just dropped her daughter off at the dentist. She just got married in May.
“No family should be in pain because of a drunk driver,” Gates’s father-in-law Dominic DiLuciano said.
Court records show Gonzalez was arrested and charged with DUI in 2016. She was convicted in Sept. of that year.
She had to go through a list of court-ordered programs.
“Whatever she went to, clearly it did not have an impact on her,” Heverly said.
Heverly runs just one of a dozen victim impact panels in Las Vegas. She said Gonzalez did not attend hers.
“It’s always been our belief that if they're going to be sent out to these other programs, then the programs should be regulated,” she said. “There should be some kind of standard set in place.”
Heverly added that right now, only people who tested above a BAC of .18% need to do an assessment. She’d like to see all offenders do it.
Gonzalez also completed DUI school and the coroner’s DUI program. Both are meant to show people the impact of driving impaired.
“So you would think someone who had that prior DUI and going through that, would have learned something – would have learned something,” Heverly said.
Gates’s family said they wants to know why none of that was enough to stop Gonzalez from doing it again.
“If she did this before, why was she out doing it again?” DiLuciano said. “It just needs to stop.”
They want to see more done to keep dangerous drivers off the road.
“We need to do something,” DiLuciano said. “If they say, ‘What can be done in Christina’s memory?’ Make a new law.”
Heverly said the state increased fines, increased jail times, but there are just so many DUIs. A lot of times, courts reduce a first offense to reckless driving.
Andrew Bennett with the Nevada Department of Public Safety said despite a recent string of deadly crashes, fatalities are down on Las Vegas roads.
For the past four months, officials have seen a consecutive decrease in Clark County. Fatality numbers are still down 23% from this date last year.
Bennett added up to 40% of fatalities happen at intersections due to failure to yield, meaning drivers running red lights.
He supported a red light camera bill in the legislature, this past year. But the bill didn’t pass.
Red light runners caused several of the valley’s recent crashes.
“You know, I don't want to ease anybody's mind. The amount of people we are losing on our roadways should be concerning to the public,” Bennett said. “We have intersections that are well-marked here for the most part. You’re able to follow the normal flow of traffic, but people are choosing to ignore the law and are causing the crashes and loss of life.”
Bennett added the DUI strike team is coming up on its anniversary. Launched in October 2018, the team is expected to make its 1,000th arrest this weekend.