Jehu Marroquin, 22 and Jonathan Gomez Cruz, 18, suffered major injuries in an auto accident caused by a suspected drunk driver in Taft near Bakersfield on November 2, 2008. According to a news report in the Bakersfield Californian, 20-year-old Anselmo Morales was driving on Ash Street near Polk Street when his vehicle drifted to the left of the road and struck Marroquin’s vehicle. California Highway Patrol officials say Morales was “heavily intoxicated.” Both Marroquin and his passenger, Jonathan Cruz, suffered major injuries.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), out of three fatal traffic collisions that occurred in the City of Taft in 2006, one was alcohol-related. In Kern County, out of 169 fatal auto accidents during the same time, 63 were alcohol-related. Also, out of 3,890 injury collisions in Kern County, 486 involved alcohol.
Drinking and driving disgusts me not only because it is illegal, but because it is clearly immoral and irresponsible. California Vehicle Code 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.” When a DUI crash causes severe injuries, or fatalities, the suspected drunk driver faces serious criminal charges. In this case, I believe that Morales should be held criminally and civilly responsible for the accident and major injuries he caused.
Marroquin and Cruz should certainly consider retaining the services of an experienced California auto accident attorney, who has an excellent track record of financially pursuing drunk drivers who caused injuries and damages. Every time I see a news report about a drunk driver injure or kill someone, it makes my blood boil. Was it worth driving drunk? It definitely won’t be when they realize that they are going to be paying for it for the rest of their lives with jail time, criminal and civil penalties.