The wrong-way driver responsible for the deadly crash in Diamond Bar over the weekend is a repeat DUI offender, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Olivia Carolee Culbreath was 17 years old the first time she was convicted for driving under the influence in San Bernardino County and was cited for traffic violations on at least two other occasions. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the restrictions on her license were lifted last week-just days before the 21-year-old drove eastbound on the westbound 60 Freeway at about 100 mph and caused the head-on crash that claimed the lives of Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47; Leticia Ibarra, 42; Jessica Jasmine Mejia, 20; Ester Delgado; Maya Culbreath, 24; and Kristin Melissa Young, 21.
Across the country, the incidence of deadly crashes involving alcohol have been rising, and repeat DUI offenders are responsible for many of them. Drunk driving deaths increased 4.6 percent from 9,865 lives in 2011 to 10,322 lives in 2012. In the majority of those collisions, the drivers had a blood alcohol concentration that was nearly twice the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The National Institutes of Health report that over 30 percent of all DUI arrests are of people who have committed the same crime in the past.
The consensus among traffic safety experts and officials is that ignition interlocks, devices that prevent cars from starting if their drivers register a blood alcohol level of 0.02 percent, are one of the best ways to combat the problem. The NHTSA estimates the devices would reduce recidivism by 75 percent and drunk driving deaths by 7 percent.
In California, families who have lost loved ones to traffic accidents involving drunk drivers have recourse through the civil justice system. For more information about the civil claims process, please call 866-981-5596 or contact us online.
All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the families of Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, Leticia Ibarra, Jessica Jasmine Mejia, Ester Delgado, Maya Culbreath, and Kristin Melissa Young.