A man was killed in a suspected DUI crash in the West Adams neighborhood of South Los Angeles early morning on Nov. 23. According to a KTLA news report, the bicyclist was traveling west on Adams Boulevard near Cloverdale Avenue when he was struck by a vehicle. The driver remained at the scene and was detained by police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Video from the scene shows a mangled bicycle lying on the ground near a dark-colored sedan. The car’s front windshield was damaged. Officials are asking residents not to drink and drive. They said they are seeing DUI collisions with increasing frequency in South Los Angeles and that it needs to stop.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased bicyclist. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Drunk Driving Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes, which amounts to one person every 48 minutes. While these deaths have fallen by a third in the last 30 years thanks to DUI legislation in many states, DUI crashes still claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion that year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence when the fatal bicycle crash occurred. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. 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.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, DUI drivers can also be held financially responsible for the victim’s wrongful death. Families of deceased victims may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer will be able to advise DUI victims’ families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.