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Newport Beach DUI Collision Critically Injures Teenager

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A 17-year-old Newport Harbor High School student suffered severe injuries in a Newport Beach car accident, which officials say, was caused by a driver who was under the influence. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the female pedestrian was in a crosswalk at the intersection of Irvine Avenue and Margaret Drive, the afternoon of December 6, 2011, when a Chevy Tahoe that was heading north struck her. Police arrested the driver, 38-year-old Marnie J. Lippincott, on suspicion of driving under the influence. The student was transported in critical condition to a regional trauma center. Anyone who saw this crash is asked to contact Newport Beach police at 949-644-3747.

My heart goes out to this young woman and her family for what they are going through at this time. I wish her the very best for a quick and full recovery. Please keep this pedestrian accident victim and her family members in your prayers.

DUI Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 50 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes in Newport Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 62 fatalities and 1,340 injuries were reported due to DUI collisions, during the same year.

Violation of Laws

If the details of this news report are accurate, the driver of the Chevy Tahoe was not only driving under the influence, but also failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian who was walking in a marked crosswalk in a school zone. California Vehicle Code Section 21950 requires all motorists to yield the right of way to pedestrians walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks.

It is also illegal in California to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. 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.”

Holding DUI Drivers Accountable

In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, injured victims can seek compensation from the at-fault party for damages including medical expenses, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Car accident victims or their families would be well advised to discuss their legal rights and options with an experienced Newport Beach car accident lawyer, who has a successful track record of holding DUI drivers financially responsible for the injuries and damages they cause. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.

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