Even drivers with a slight buzz who are under the legal limit at more likely be at fault for accidents than the sober drivers they hit, a new study report. According to a news report by Reuters Health, the authors of the study looked at fatal crash data from a U.S. database of more than 570,000 collisions between 1994 and 2011. They found that there appears to be no level of safe alcohol in the bloodstream when it comes to driving.
Recently in Drunk Driving Accidents Category
Kenneth Jackson, 60, was killed in a Mission Viejo car crash after officials say a drunk driver plowed into his home and struck Jackson as he was sleeping. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred in the early morning hours of December 29, 2013 in the 26000 block of Pacato Drive. Police say Kourosh Keshmiri, 27, drove a large Cadillac sedan into Jackson's bedroom after he failed to navigate a turn and lost control of the vehicle. The car landed on Jackson's bed as he slept. The force of the impact drove the bed into the bathroom. Jackson was found under the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.
One person was killed in a seven-car crash, which officials say, involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report on CBS Los Angeles, the fatal crash occurred the night of December 16, 2013 in the 19200 block of Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana. Police say the male driver of a gray Ford Taurus was going east on Ventura Boulevard at a high rate of speed when he crashed into six vehicles stopped at an intersection.
An unidentified 60-year-old woman, who was in the first car to be struck by the Taurus, died at the scene. The suspected drunk driver then went to a nearby convenience store, purchased a six-pack of beer and began drinking before the paramedics tended to him, officials said. The suspect was transported to an area hospital even as he was telling paramedics loudly: "I need beer." Three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries. So far, not arrests have been made.
A contract worker for the Los Angeles International Airport was run over by a driver, who officials say, was under the influence. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the incident occurred early morning on November 7, 2013 at the intersection of Sepulveda and Century boulevards near the tunnels that head into the airport. Police said the worker was contracted by the city to change the streetlights at the location and was walking through the tunnel when a pickup truck collided with another vehicle that was towing a warning trailer.
Joey Nungaray, 27, was killed in a Westminster car accident, which officials say, involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal collision occurred at the intersection Brookhurst Street and McFadden Avenue. Police say a Nissan Frontier truck, which was traveling south, broadsided a Honda Civic that was westbound. Investigators say one of the vehicles ran a red light, but have not determined which driver committed the violation.
A pedestrian suffered injuries to his legs after, officials say, a driver who was under the influence and was talking on his cell phone crashed into a parked car pushing it into a man standing in front of it. According to a news report in The Daily Breeze, the injury collision occurred the night of July 26, 2013, near the intersection of Rosecrans and Avis avenues. Police say Nima Vandordaklou, 31, was driving west in his gray 2009 Honda when he crashed into a Mercedes-Benz S320 parked on the south side of Rosecrans. The collision pushed the Mercedes into a man pinning him against the rear of another parked car.
Philip Ruiz, Jr., 20, was killed in a Santa Monica car accident after the vehicle in which he was a passenger was struck by a wrong-way driver, who officials suspect, was under the influence. According to a news report in City News Service, the fatal DUI collision occurred on the 10 Freeway at Centinela Avenue early morning on June 28, 2013. California Highway Patrol officials say say 23-year-old Jaime Herrera was driving a 2005 Pontiac GTO east in the westbound lanes of the freeway and struck a 1997 Ford Taurus head-on. Ruiz, who was a passenger in the Taurus driven by 18-year-old Edgar Quiroz, died at the scene.
Eight vehicles were involved in a pileup on the 14 Freeway in Agua Dulce, which left 12 people injured. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the injury collision occurred the afternoon of June 17, 2013 near the Escondido Canyon Road exit. Three people were seriously injured in the crash, which was caused by a wrong-way driver. The driver of a pickup was traveling south on the northbound 14 Freeway and plowed head-on into another vehicle triggering the massive pileup. One car overturned and another had a pole thrust through its window. Investigators suspect that the driver of the pickup truck was under the influence at the time.
Police in Chicago have arrested 44-year-old Lisa Elner on suspicion of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a Jan. 26 fatal DUI crash that killed two other women - Michelle Miranda, 37, and Sandra Frankum, 36. According to a news report in The Chicago Tribune, Miranda and Frankum were killed when the SUV in which they were traveling fell at least 50 feet from Harlem Avenue in Lyons to Canal Bank Drive in Summit. Elner, the alleged driver of the SUV, faces charges of failure to report an accident involving death, aggravated driving under the influence involving death, possession of cocaine, and other traffic charges.
Police say Elner was silent about the accident hours later when she was found walking near the entrance ramp to southbound Interstate 55 at Harlem Avenue. Elner, who was also seriously injured in the crash, was taken to a local hospital for treatment and told officials she was walking home from a bar, but told them nothing about the crash.
Failure to Report Deadly Crash
The overturned SUV was discovered about five hours after police found Elner. Piecing together evidence, police determined that the southbound SUV was approaching the I-55 ramp when it lost control, jumped a curb and crashed through a barrier before plunging down to the road below. Apparently, no one called 911 after it happened.
Based on this news report, officials say Elner allegedly survived the 50-foot plunge, but left her passengers in the vehicle for hours without care or medical attention. The article states that it was several hours before the vehicle was even found. Had the women obtained medical attention earlier, it is possible that they would have survived. Drivers have a responsibility to report any crash they are involved in right away to police and help injured victims. This help could be something as simple as calling 911.
Protecting Victims' Rights
Victims of DUI and hit-and-run crashes have rights. Families that have lost loved ones as a result of someone else's negligence and wrongdoing can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Victims' families would also be well advised to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight for their rights and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.
February 7, 2013--Lakewood, California--A 25-year-old man who has a previous conviction for felony DUI was arrested and charged with murder after being involved in a fatal crash while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, according to the Los Angeles Times. The suspect is also charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence, causing bodily injury and theft of a vehicle.
The crash occurred on State Route 330 near State Route 18 when the driver rolled his vehicle, ejecting a female passenger from the car. The 18-year-old girl died of her injuries and the suspect was arrested on suspicion of DUI Murder. Two other passengers were injured in the crash.
Investigators later learned that the suspect had already been involved in a fatal DUI collision in 2009 and had been convicted of felony DUI, a charge usually made when alcohol is involved in a crash with injuries or fatalities. He was re-arrested for the current charges with murder being added.
California DUI Laws Provide Escalating Penalties
While a first-time DUI offense is normally a misdemeanor, California law provides prosecutors with a way to enhance charges and sentencing if the driver injures or kills someone or leaves the scene of an accident. In those cases, drivers can be charged with felonies up to and including murder, as in the present case. This gives prosecutors the flexibility to match the charge to the offense. If an offender has already killed someone in a DUI accident, it is far more appropriate to charge that individual with a more serious crime than if the person is a first-time offender who has not caused any damage or injury.
How Big Is the DUI Problem?
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues to be a major problem for Californians. According to the Century Council, 2010 saw 791 drunk driving fatalities on California highways, 94 of which were victims under the age of 21. More than 71 percent of these drivers had blood alcohol contents of .15 or more, twice the legal limit for intoxication.
These grim statistics are tempered by the fact that California has seen a reduction of 27 percent in overall DUI fatalities since 2000 and a 53 percent reduction in fatalities of victims under 21 years of age. Better DUI education may be responsible for these encouraging numbers, but the fact is that DUI remains one of the biggest killers of people of all ages in the state.
What Should I Do If I Am The Victim of a Drunk Driver?
If you are involved in a crash with a drunk driver, it is important for you to protect your rights. Whether or not the criminal justice system brings the driver to justice, you will still have to collect compensation for your medical bills, your living expenses and other costs. You are also entitled to payment for the pain and suffering you endure as a result of the collision. A personal injury attorney can help you collect these damages.
A 30-year-old man was killed in a Sacramento crash, which officials say, was caused by aspiring model and mother of two, 24-year-old Reena Ashlie Sanchez. According to a news report in The Sacramento Bee, the fatal DUI collision occurred on El Camino Avenue near Colfax Street. Police say Sanchez was driving intoxicated with her two young children in the back seat. Officials say four men were traveling west on El Camino Avenue in an SUV early morning on Feb. 3, 2013 when their vehicle was rear-ended by Sanchez's sedan, which they say, was traveling at a high rate of speed.
One person was injured in a drunk driving crash after a suspected DUI driver ran a red light and struck another vehicle. According to a news report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Andrew Castro, 25, of San Dimas was driving east on Route 66 and Compromise Line the afternoon of January 28, 2013 when he ran a red light at the intersection and struck another car carrying two people. One of the people in the other car suffered neck injuries and was transported to an area hospital. Castro was arrested and charged with felony driving under the influence.
A police officer was injured in a collision with a driver suspected of being under the influence, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The officer was driving his marked patrol car when he was struck by a pickup truck at the driver's door. The accident occurred early in the morning at the intersection of Mission Gorge Road and Route 125 in Santee.
The officer was said to be seriously injured in the collision. Witnesses stated that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed, and rescue workers from the fire department were forced to cut the car door open to extract the officer. The driver of the pickup was not seriously hurt in the accident and was booked on a charge of suspected felony drunk driving.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the injured officer for his speedy recovery.
High-Speed Collisions A Common Feature of DUI Accidents
According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System of the California Highway Patrol, there were 1,072 fatalities and 24,343 injuries caused by drunk driving in the state in 2011. At least 7,800 of these accidents involved drivers simply traveling in a straight line with no immediate obstructions or impairments to cause a collision. A great number of these drivers are speeding at the time of an accident. Even more drivers who speed run off the road or commit some other error that leads to serious consequences for themselves and others on the road.
Criminal Issues in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drivers who operate vehicles under the influence are breaking the law. In California, drivers who operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content measured at more than .08 percent are considered to be driving drunk. Drivers with BACs of more than .15 percent are considered to be exceptionally drunk, and different charges may be entered against these drivers.
Drivers who injure someone else while driving drunk are usually charged with felony DUI. Those who damage property are usually charged with misdemeanor DUI. However, depending on the circumstances of the accident, a driver who is driving with a very high BAC may still incur a felony charge despite the fact that only property damage occurred.
Liability Issues in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk drivers not only commit a crime, they also show disregard for the safety of others. Because drunk driving is completely preventable, judges and juries show little sympathy when faced with a driver who chose to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel, doing damages to property and causing injuries to innocent parties. In these cases, victims often file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver to pay for the damages they have sustained.
A victim in a drunk driving accident is entitled to damages that may include special damages awarded as the result of the driver's negligence in driving while under the influence. A personal injury attorney can explain these damages to the victim and help him or her recover the proper amount.
A new California survey shows that one in seven drivers who volunteered as study subjects had drugs (legal or illegal) in their system. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the 2012 California Roadside Survey of Nighttime Weekend Drivers' Alcohol and Drug Use points to the fact that more drivers tested positive for drugs, especially marijuana, than for alcohol. This is apparently the first roadside survey of its kind, which law enforcement officials say, points to a serious and growing threat. Among the 1,314 California drivers included in the survey, 2.7 percent were under the influence of an illegal drug, about 3.3 percent were under the influence of medications only and 5.5 percent had marijuana in their systems.
November 14, 2012—Ontario, California—A woman who was allegedly drunk behind the wheel crashed into a street sweeper in Ontario on Wednesday, injuring herself and the passenger in her car, according to the Continue reading "DUI Suspect Hits Ontario Street Sweeper" »