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Largo man was driving drunk when he caused death of passenger, police say

Times Staff Writer

LARGO — A felon was driving drunk, police say, when he turned in front of another car in May, sending his passenger fatally flying out of the car.

Duane Joseph Livernis, 40, of Largo was arrested Monday and charged with driving under the influence manslaughter and DUI involving property damage.

Largo police said Livernis' 1994 Chrysler was hit around 2 a.m. May 16 when he turned in front of another vehicle at East Bay and Huntington drives.

His front seat passenger, Largo resident Robert Belasco, 42, was ejected through the windshield. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he died from his injuries.

The driver of the other car, 55-year-old Naimjon Husaynov of Largo, was injured.

Arrest reports show Livernis' blood alcohol level measured 0.168 and 0.169 after the crash. That's more than twice the threshold at which Florida law presumes that someone is unable to drive a motor vehicle safely.

Tests showed Livernis, of 819 Lake Palms Drive, also had two sedatives — diazepam and nordiazepam — in his system.

Livernis was convicted of aggravated battery in 1992 and battery in 1995, according to court documents.

He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2004 after convictions on cocaine sale and possession.

He was released from the Pinellas County Jail early Tuesday after posting $10,500 bail.

Largo man was driving drunk when he caused death of passenger, police say 06/15/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 9:20pm]
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