A 23-year-old woman was killed and her brother was injured in a Los Angeles car accident involving a suspected wrong-way drunk driver whose blood alcohol level, officials say, was more than three times the legal limit. According to news reports, the fatal DUI collision occurred at Parthenia Street and Corbin Avenue in Northridge, the night of June 25, 2012. Officials say a 50-year-old woman, who was driving her vehicle eastbound in a westbound lane on Parthenia, plowed into a Honda carrying the victims. The victim of this crash was fatally injured and her brother suffered unknown injuries. The female driver of the other vehicle had a blood alcohol level of .22. She is facing DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of the woman killed in this collision. My thoughts and prayers are also with her injured brother. I wish him the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.
Los Angeles Drunk Driving Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 83 fatalities and 2,218 injuries as a result of drunk driving crashes in the city of Los Angeles. Countywide, 204 people were killed and 4,672 were injured in alcohol-related collisions during that same year.
Drunk Driving Laws
Based on this news account, the suspect had a very high blood alcohol concentration and was driving on the wrong side of the roadway when she struck the victims’ vehicle. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.
A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges. California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of love and companionship. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. DUI accident victims and their families would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles who has a successful track record of financially pursuing drunk and negligent drivers. 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.