A teenager was injured in a Huntington Beach car accident, which officials say was caused by a driver who might have been operating under the influence. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the crash occurred the night of Dec. 23 near Pacific Coast Highway and Warner Avenue.
The vehicles collided and the teen suffered an injury, which was not life-threatening. She was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The other driver, Daniel Ray Dias, 49, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury. Dias was booked in the city jail and was later released on bond, the Times reports. An investigation is ongoing.
It is indeed fortunate that the young driver did not suffer life-threatening injuries as a result of this collision. We wish her the very best for a quick and full recovery.
Drunk Driving and the Holidays
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every holiday season hundreds of lives are lost and thousands are injured because of drunk drivers. Nationally, between 2013 and 2017, an average of 300 people died in DUI crashes the week between Christmas and New Year, NHTSA reports. Alcohol-impaired fatalities make up more than 25% of all crash fatalities. In 2016, 781 people lost their lives in DUI-related crashes in the month of December alone.
Laws and Liability Issues
It is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The same section also states that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. When a drunk or drugged driver causes an accident that results in injuries, in addition to facing criminal charges and penalties, he or she can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.
If you are driving during the holidays, please sure to avoid getting behind the wheel if you have consumed alcohol. The best option would be to spend the night at your host’s home, get a hotel room for the night (if your party is at a hotel) or take a cab home. You can also ask a sober designated driver to take you home. Please be safe as you celebrate this holiday season.