An Anaheim Police Department employee sustained critical injuries when her vehicle was hit by a driver, who officials say, is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs the afternoon of March 9. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the suspect, 34-year-old Jose Alfredo Alcantar Garcia, earlier that day was involved in an unrelated incident in which he struck another vehicle and fled the scene. The police department employee, a traffic control assistant, was in a stopped marked vehicle performing traffic control duties on La Palma Avenue when she was struck from behind by a pickup truck.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
The impact of the crash caused the employee to be ejected from her vehicle. Co-workers and paramedics performed medical aid before she was taken to an area trauma center in critical condition. The marked vehicle was reportedly blocking traffic in the westbound right lane of La Palma Avenue when the pickup truck rear-ended the vehicle.
Garcia was arrested and booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs causing great bodily injury, possession of methamphetamine for sale, transportation of methamphetamine and driving on a suspended license. Investigators believe Garcia was driving under the influence of marijuana and methamphetamine at the time of the crash. He was also booked on suspicion of hit-and-run relating to the prior crash. No one was injured in that crash.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the severely injured police department employee who is said to be in critical condition. We wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Laws and Liability Issues
Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. While recreational marijuana use is legal in California, it is important to remember that it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana.
In addition to facing criminal charges, drivers who cause injuries while driving under the influence can also be held financially responsible for the damages and losses they cause. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.