Melonee Watson, 52, sustained serious injuries in a car accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in the Visalia Times Delta, the crash occurred the night of May 22, 2010 on Road 132 near Avenue 320, in Visalia, when two Chevy Silverado trucks collided head-on. Watson was airlifted to a regional hospital while the driver of the other pickup truck was transported to another hospital. That driver, only identified as a 25-year-old, is suspected of driving under the influence. Watson was driving north on Ben Maddox Way when the other pickup truck drifted into Watson's lane, California Highway Patrol officials said.
My heart goes out to Melonee Watson, the victim injured in this horrific collision. I hope she has not sustained any catastrophic injuries and pray that she makes a speedy and full recovery. She will be in my prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol's 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there was one fatality and 57 injuries involving DUI collisions in Visalia. In Tulare County, during the same year, alcohol-related collisions claimed 21 lives and caused 214 injuries.
Drunk Driving Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that impairment may have been a factor. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a serious crime under California law. California Vehicle Code section 23152 (a) states: "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle." The same code section also states that it is illegal for any person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more to drive a vehicle.
Claim for Compensation
Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved in car accident cases, injured victims can seek compensation from the at-fault party to cover medical expenses, loss of earnings, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and even long-term care, if that becomes necessary. Victims in such cases would be well-advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also be able to advise victims about how their car insurance policy applies to incidents involving at-fault drivers who are either uninsured or underinsured.
Should all states start requiring Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) for first-time DUI offenders? Let us know what you think.
The BISNAR|CHASE personal injury law firm is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.