Esther Bautista, 31, sustained injuries in a Ventura car accident after her car was struck by a suspected drunk driver the afternoon of June 15, 2010. According to a news report in the Santa Paula Times, the accident occurred on Highway 126 in Santa Paula, when 47-year-old Efren Carbajal, who was driving 1988 Ford F-350 pickup truck, rear-ended Bautista’s 1995 Mercury Villager minivan. Bautista’s minivan went off the freeway and rolled over. Bautista was transported to a local hospital. Her two children — 5 and 7 years old — who were in the van, were not injured. Carbajal was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI.
It is indeed fortunate that the children were uninjured in this horrific collision. I hope Bautista was not seriously injured here. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there was one fatality and 10 injuries involving DUI collisions in Santa Paula. In Ventura County as a whole, 27 people died and 475 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
Drunk Driving Laws
Driving under the influence is a serious crime under California law. 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.” It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in California with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.
If Carbajal is determined to have been under the influence at the time, he could be held criminally and civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused in this accident. In such cases injured victims could seek compensation from the at-fault driver for medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages.
Injured victims would be well-advised to contact an experienced Ventura personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the investigation and make sure that the negligent parties are held liable. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also advise victims about how their car insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.
Should California require Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) for first-time DUI offenders?
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.