September 3, 2012-Fullerton, CA-Several family members of Fullerton DUI crash victims spoke out at a City Council meeting on Tuesday in condemnation of the council’s decision not to accept grant funds to finance sobriety checkpoints. The mayor promised to have the council reconsider accepting the grant funds at a future date.
The council had previously agreed to accept a grant, funded by the Office of Traffic Safety that would provide almost $150,000 for DUI enforcement programs. However, the council also voted to reject a portion of the grant funds that were earmarked specifically for traffic checkpoints to spot possible DUI suspects. Later, the police chief was informed that if the council rejected part of the grant, the entire amount would be rescinded.
Drunk Driving Still A Large Problem for Fullerton Residents
According to records compiled by the City of Fullerton police, fourteen deaths have occurred due to traffic collisions since 2009. Of these, seven, or exactly 50 percent, traced their direct cause to drunk driving.
The most famous case occurred in Fullerton in 2009 when three people, including Angels
pitcher Nick Adenhart, 22, were killed by a repeat offender DUI driver. One person, Jon Wilhite, survived the accident and was present at the meeting to urge the council to reconsider their decision.
Liability Issues in DUI Accidents
Liability in a DUI accident can be confusing. Not only does the at-fault driver face liability for the damages he or she has caused, but may also face criminal penalties. If a driver has no insurance, as is the case with an inordinate number of DUI drivers, and the driver has no personal assets and no job because he or she is being put in jail, it is difficult for a victim to collect any payments. Many repeat DUI drivers have no liability insurance because it is very difficult and expensive to get coverage after your first DUI and drivers simply take to the road without it until they are caught.
On the other hand, it is also very important to secure a civil judgment against the driver in case he or she does at some point have assets to pay for the damages. If the driver has liability insurance, it is also important to work with a professional Fullerton car accident attorney to insure that the insurer is made to pay the maximum amount allowable under the law.
There is another avenue of liability that may be open to those injured in a DUI crash. Courts have held that others can also share liability for the drunk driver’s state if they encouraged drinking and driving. For example, bartenders or restaurants have been sued for knowingly giving alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons then allowing them to leave in their cars.