Driver charged in death of mother & baby had 0.21 BAC

Veronica Rivas did not have anything to say as she walked into a Harris County courtroom on Friday morning. The 20-year-old Rivas is charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter, a second degree felony offense.

Authorities say Rivas crashed into a car early on Wednesday morning on the Gulf Freeway, killing Shayla Edwards and her three-month-old son Braylan.

"This is just an unspeakable tragedy," said Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney's Office. "It really is and one of the worst parts about it is that it’s totally preventable."

Rivas' blood alcohol content level was reported to be 0.21, three times the legal limit, at the time of the crash.

Prosecutors were hoping for $100,000 bail for each count. A judge set Rivas’ bail amount at $30,000 per count and ordered Rivas not to leave her house unless she is going to court. Rivas will also have to wear a GPS tracking monitor and a device that monitors if she has consumed alcohol. 

"The judge has really restricted her ability to be a risk to the community," said Sam Adamo, Rivas' attorney. 

He added that it has been a difficult time for Rivas. 

"My client is a young lady in her 20s, no real criminal history of any kind, and she’s terribly, terribly upset about what happened," said Adamo.

Prosecutors said Rivas was drinking at a business before the crash. They will not say where, but the establishment is under investigation.

"We have issued subpoenas and search warrants," said Teare. He also added that March is a busy month in Houston with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, "March Madness" and spring break. Teare said hopes this tragedy will remind people about the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

"If one person decides to take an Uber or get into a cab or do anything except get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking, I hope that’s the message that we send from this tragedy," concluded Teare.

Rivas is scheduled to appear in court next on April 24.