Four people were injured in a California car accident in Lake County, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to the Record-Bee, the injury crash occurred the morning of June 2, 2010 on Highway 53, near Anderson Ranch Parkway, when 46-year-old Stephen Phipps who was driving a 2002 Ford Ranger pickup truck crossed over the center turn lane and entered opposing lanes of traffic. The Ford truck moved directly in front of a 2000 Oldsmobile van driven by 43-year-old Luisa Enriquez. Both cars crashed head-on.
Enriquez sustained broken bones in her legs. Her 12-year-old passenger suffered fractures in his leg, arm and face. Phipps’ passenger, 53-year-old Jody Westphall, sustained internal injuries, California Highway Patrol officials said. Phipps, who also suffered internal injuries, was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were three fatalities and 23 injuries involving DUI collisions in the unincorporated areas of Lake County. Also, countywide, three people died and 64 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes in Lake County.
Drunk Driving Laws
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs — recreational or prescription — 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.” In California, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.
Fault and Liability
If Phipps is determined to have been at fault for this accident, he could not only face criminal charges, but also civil penalties for causing these serious injuries. In such cases, injured victims could seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, physical therapy, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other related damages.
Victims of DUI collisions would be well-advised to retain a reputed San Francisco personal injury lawyer, who has experience as well as an exceptional track record of holding drunk drivers financially responsible for their actions. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also be able to advise victims about how their car insurance policy applies to a case where the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured.
What measures would you like to see your local law enforcement take to curb drunk driving in your city?
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys 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.