ss_ambulance_&_victim.jpg

DUI Causing Injury

DUI with injury under Vehicle Code Section 23153, "it is unlawful for a person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximatly causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver."

(b) It is unlawful for a person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximatly causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.    In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after driving.

Under California law, a DUI with injury can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony generally depending on the severity of the injury caused. Also, the prosecutor will consider specific facts of the case such as the blood alcohol level and the person's driving record. The penalties for a DUI with injury are understandably more severe then a regular DUI, with up to a year in the county jail or possible prison time in an extreme case. An experienced DUI attorney can make a huge difference on the outcome of a drunk driving causing injury, oftentimes obtaining a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor. It is important to note that unlike a standard DUI, a Vehicle Code section 23153 requires two additional elements. (See the bold words in the statute quoted above.) First, a violation of "a duty imposed by law", such as a vehicle code violation. Second, that the violation caused the injury. An experienced lawyer will focus on the details of the accident and how the injury was caused. This will oftentimes require consulting with an accident re-constructionist to determine if the accident was actually the driver’s fault. It is very important to hire a qualified DUI attorney as soon as possible before critical evidence is lost or destroyed.