At approximately 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 14th, 25-year-old Robert E. Barnes, a DUI offender in 2008, was heading north on Highway 99 when he struck a GMC Sonoma pickup head-on. The impact of the collision killed 29-year-old Rogelio Herrera and 31-year-old Sarai Alvarez and critically injured their two children, 7-year-old Cristian Zaizar and 6-year-old Emanuel Zaizar-Alvarez. Barnes and his passengers sustained minor to moderate injuries. Police found multiple pounds of marijuana in Barnes’ vehicle and that he had been driving under the influence. They arrested him on suspicion of murder; however, the charge has been reduced to gross vehicular manslaughter, explains a California truck accident attorney.
In the United States, one person dies every 45 minutes in an alcohol-related traffic accident. Drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths and are often used in combination with alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2008, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
A recent study found that almost half of the 1,500,000 people arrested for drunk driving every year have prior convictions for drunk driving. In many cases, they are arrested while driving with a license that has been suspended or revoked as a consequence of past impaired driving. In fact, 50-70% of DUI offenders continue to drive after losing their licenses.
If an individual drinks and drives and causes an accident, that person may not only face punitive consequences but also may be held financially liable for any injuries or fatalities that resulted from the accident.
During this extremely difficult time, everyone at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer their condolences to the families of Rogelio Herrera and Sarai Alvarez. We would also like to wish Cristian Zaizar and Emanuel Zaizar-Alvarez a full recovery from their injuries.
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