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Alcohol a Factor in Fatal San Francisco Area Car Accident


One student was killed and four others were seriously injured in a car accident the afternoon of September 17, 2010, which officials suspect, involved speed and alcohol. According to a news report in The Contra Costa Times, the teens were on their lunch break from school and were traveling in a 7 series BMW on Novato Boulevard when the driver lost control, swerved into opposing lanes of traffic and crashed into a big rig. The driver of the BMW was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Police say open cans of beer were found inside and outside the vehicle soon after the collision. An investigation is ongoing.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the teenage boy tragically killed in this crash. My thoughts and prayers are also with the boys injured in this fatal accident.

Alcohol Related Car Accidents

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person was killed and 11 people were injured in DUI collisions in Novato. In Marin County as a whole, three people died and 116 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same year.

California DUI Law

Not only is it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, it is also illegal to have open containers of alcohol in a moving vehicle. It is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “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.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a).

Liability Issues

If it is determined that the driver of the BMW lost control of his vehicle because he was under the influence of alcohol, he can not only face criminal charges, but can also be held civilly liable for the fatality and the injuries caused. Families of deceased victims in such cases could file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral expenses, love of love and companionship, and other damages. An experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer will be able to advise families about their legal rights and options in such cases.

Do you believe teen drinking is a serious problem in your community?

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.

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