Suspected Drunk Driver Leaves One Woman Dead
A crash in the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles has resulted in fatal injuries to one woman, and was suspected to have occurred due to a drunken driver. Drunken driving incidents such as this can have serious consequences, both criminal and civil, for the drivers involved.
The recent accident occurred at approximately 11:53 pm on Thursday, October 27. A 2004 Infiniti two-door coupe carrying four occupants was heading west on Fountain Avenue at a high rate of speed. As the Infiniti approached Stanley Avenue, the driver clipped a BMW parked along Fountain Avenue. This caused the car’s driver to lose control, wherein the car hit a concrete light pole and then a fence, ultimately flipping over before coming to rest. A 22-year-old female passenger from Montebello was pronounced dead at the scene, and the remaining three occupants of the car were taken to a nearby hospital. All three were reported to be in stable condition. Law enforcement reported that determination of whether or not this accident would be deemed a result of intoxicated driving would need to wait on results of a chemical test of the driver.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains a substantial cause of all fatal accidents, both in Los Angeles and nationwide. Drivers can face felony charges of driving under the influence when driving with a blood alcohol level above 0.08% and causing injuries to another. However, even if a driver does not reach the point of being considered “intoxicated” under the legal definition, they can still face criminal consequences. Drivers whose driving is affected by alcohol can still be charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence, and can be forced to serve jail time, community service, or pay fines or restitution to victims. Victims of a drunk driver can also use evidence of a driver’s intoxication to show liability in a personal injury lawsuit for damages. In California, if an at-fault driver is convicted of a DUI in association with an accident that injured or killed the victim, that victim or their survivors may use evidence of the conviction to support their argument for a finding of “negligence per se.” Under this doctrine, if the defendant violated a law, and that violation caused the sort of harm that the law was enacted to prevent, then the defendant will be held liable for the victim’s damages. Even without a criminal conviction for DUI, the victim can use evidence of the at-fault driver being under the influence of alcohol to support their claim for damages.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a drunk driver or a driver who was otherwise negligently responsible for an injury accident, contact the compassionate and effective Los Angeles auto accident and personal injury attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a consultation, at 310-553-6630.