An Orange County Transportation Authority employee, who was driving an agency-issued Toyota Prius, was seriously injured in a Santa Ana car accident involving a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the major injury collision occurred in the 200 block of North Harbor Boulevard near First Street the morning of October 5, 2012. Police say a Chevy Tahoe struck the Prius. The woman was extricated from the Prius and transported to an area hospital with major injuries. The driver of the Tahoe was detained on suspicion of driving under the influence. The investigation is ongoing.
My heart goes out to this injured OCTA employee who has suffered severe injuries in this collision. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. She will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.
There were five fatalities and 152 injuries involving DUI crashes in Santa Ana, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). During the same year, 45 people died and 1,317 were injured due to alcohol-related crashes in Orange County.
Drunk Driving Laws
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to how this collision occurred. But, officials say, that the driver of the SUV was under the influence at the time. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.” The same section also states that it is illegal for a motorist in California to operate a vehicle with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.
Holding Drivers Accountable
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, at-fault drivers can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Car accident victims can seek compensation to cover damages including medical and hospitalization costs, surgeries, lost wages, physical therapy and pain and suffering. If the victim was on the job at the time, he or she can also seek workers’ compensation benefits from the employer in addition to filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party. An experienced Santa Ana personal injury lawyer can help injured DUI victims financially pursue the negligent driver. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.