Police were called out to an unusual pedestrian accident on September 28. Authorities say that is when a Riverside pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and taken to a local hospital in critical condition, and police say two drivers in two separate vehicles are suspected of DUI in the incident.
The pedestrian was traversing the sidewalk when a Chevrolet Colorado driven by an unnamed individual was southbound towards Challen Avenue on Van Buren Boulevard while a Toyota Corolla, also driver unknown, was turning from northbound Van Buren onto Challen Avenue. The Toyota Corolla had the green arrow, authorities say.
Against the red signal, the Chevrolet Colorado pulled into the intersection, crashing into the Toyota Corolla before leaving the intersection and striking a pedestrian on the sidewalk. Major injuries were sustained by the pedestrian, although neither driver was injured, police say. However, both drivers were determined by police to be driving while under the influence. As a result, both were taken to jail. The accident remains under investigation by authorities.
Although guilt has yet to be established in this unfortunate pedestrian accident, driving under the influence is a big problem across the nation. Drunk drivers kill 28 people a day on our nation’s roadways, which amounts to one life lost at the hands of inebriated drivers every 52 minutes, and more than 10,000 lives lost per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).
Around one-third of all traffic deaths are related to alcohol in some way, notes the NHTSA. That figure is slightly higher in California, where around 35 percent of all fatalities on the state’s roadways are alcohol-related. In 2018, the most recent year where statistics are available, 1,241 of California’s 3,563 total traffic fatalities were related to alcohol.
Because of the potential to cause such destruction behind the wheel, drunk drivers face a court system that is notoriously tough on them. DUI drivers face stiff penalties in the state of California, with increasing penalties for repeat offenders and subsequent DUI charges. Although the circumstances of each case also come into play, in general, DUI drivers can expect little sympathy from judges and jurors.
A first DUI in California is considered a misdemeanor and comes with fines of up to $1,000 along with penalty assessments. Up to six months in jail is possible, although most offenders receive a three-year probation term for first-time DUIs. A six-month suspension of driving privileges is also the norm, along with an additional four-month suspension for drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 or greater. If a driver refuses BAC testing, then a 12-month suspension is standard.
Second- and third-time DUI offenses are also misdemeanors. Fines of up to $1,000, jail time of up to one year, up to three years (second offense) and four years (third offense) of license suspension, and three years to five years of probation are standard penalties. In addition, DUI school is required as a condition of release.
When someone receives a fourth or subsequent DUI charge within 10 years, the charge is a felony. The person faces up to four years of prison time and fines of up to $1,000. DUI can also be charged as a felony when the driver injures someone while driving drunk or if someone is killed during the course of driving under the influence.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian or car accident due to the negligence of a DUI driver, reach out to the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg for a consultation with a seasoned personal injury attorney. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 310-997-0904.