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DUI Collision Causes Major Injuries


Three members of a Tahoe City family — Heather Laboie, 42, Donna Howard, 66, Laboie’s 6-year-old daughter — sustained major injuries in a car accident after a suspected drunk driver crashed head-on into their vehicle. According to a news report in the Sierra Sun, the major injury collision occurred on July 21, 2010 on Highway 89. California Highway Patrol officials say 34-year-old Matthew Dubois drove his 1998 Chevy Silverado northbound on the highway and collided with a 2002 Acura occupied by the victims. The impact from the crash caused the Acura to go down an embankment and strike a bicyclist.

The injured victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment. The cyclist fortunately escaped with minor injuries. Dubois himself sustained major injuries, but was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. CHP officials say they will take Dubois into custody once he is out of the hospital.

It is indeed fortunate that this accident did not result in fatal injuries. I’m relieved to note that although Laboie, Howard and the little girl suffered major injuries, they are on the road to recovery. I pray for their speedy and complete recovery.

DUI Statistics

According to CHP’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were seven fatalities and 108 injuries involving DUI collisions in the unincorporated areas of Placer County. Also, countywide, 10 people died and 190 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same year.

Drunk Driving Law

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs 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.”

Compensation Issues

If Dubois is determined to have been under the influence, then he could not only face criminal charges, but also be held financially responsible for the serious injuries caused to the victims. Injured victims in such cases could seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of earnings, cost of hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy and other related damages. Victims would be well-advised to consult with an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record of holding drunk drivers financially responsible for their actions. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also advise victims about how their car insurance policy applies to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.

What can California legislators do to curb the problem of drunk driving on our roadways?

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.

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