Recently, a Santa Ana woman drove her silver Honda off of Beach Boulevard onto an ice-plant-covered embankment. The accident occurred near the 22 Freeway at around noon. Police arrested the woman after conducting a preliminary alcohol screening at the scene, according to the Orange County Register. Fortunately, no other cars were involved nor was anyone injured, which as a California injury attorney, I can attest is seldom the case with alcohol-related accidents.
Someone dies every 45 minutes from an alcohol-related automobile accident in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. In California, of the 3,967 people to be killed in traffic accidents, 1,489 of the fatalities were the result of alcohol-impaired driving in 2007, according to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs.
While impaired driving poses a serious threat to highway safety in California, many preventive measures exist to ameliorate the problem. One of the simplest is to report drunk drivers by calling 911. Weaving or zigzagging across the road, straddling the center of the road or lane marker, and driving slower than 10 miles per an hour are just a few indications that someone may be driving while intoxicated. For a longer list, visit the abc gov website.
On a legislative level, first-time and repeat DUI offenders will now be required to install ignition interlock devices to their vehicles in four California counties: Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare. If the device detects alcohol on the breath of the driver, the vehicle will not start. Not only will this new law increase the cost of a DUI from $2,500 to $2,730, offenders will have to pay a $60 monthly maintenance fee. This could get quite expensive for repeat offenders, as the duration of time the device must be installed will increase considerably with each offense. The program is expected to go statewide if successful.
Luckily for the Santa Ana DUI offender mentioned above, no one was injured as a result of her reckless driving. After over 35 years of helping the victims of alcohol-related accidents, we at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have witnessed far graver outcomes. While the state government and law enforcement have increased efforts to prevent impaired driving, injuries and fatalities resulting from intoxicated driving continue to plague California-especially the families left grief-stricken by the loss of loved ones.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident in which the negligent driver was intoxicated, or have lost a loved one in an alcohol-related accident, feel free to call 866-981-5596 or visit a reputable and active California Injury Lawyer to recover what you deserve and keep drunks off the street. Consulting with an experienced Injury Lawyer on Los Angeles or Orange County may help with the difficult legal process ahead.