A woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries after a repeat DUI driver crashed his vehicle into a Costa Mesa home. According to a City News Service report, the incident occurred early morning on January 29, 2014. The vehicle went into the home in the 1600 block of Myrtlewood Street about four feet and ended up lodged between two occupied bedrooms, officials said. The woman who was injured suffered lacerations caused by flying debris. The driver, 26-year-old Lawrence Smith of Costs Mesa, was arrested and booked on suspicion of DUI. Officials say Smith had prior DUI convictions.
The city of Costa Mesa in an effort to reduce DUI collisions will be implementing a DUI checkpoint from tonight through Saturday morning to 3:00 a.m.
It is indeed fortunate that no one suffered serious or life-threatening injuries as a result of this DUI collision. I wish the injured victim the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were three fatalities and 717 injuries involving car accidents in Costa Mesa of which 73 injuries were alcohol-related. In Orange County as a whole, 51 people died and 1,265 were injured due to DUI collisions during the same year.
Repeat DUI Offenders
Repeat DUI offenders are a part of a significant problem in California. According to CHP’s statistics from 2009, the most recent numbers available, there were 161,000 DUI arrests and convictions statewide and 27 percent of those were repeat offenders. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal under California law. It is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. 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.”
In addition to facing criminal charges, DUI offenders can also be held civilly liable for the injuries and damages they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Costa Mesa car accident lawyer who has successfully pursued drunk drivers financially on behalf of injured clients. A knowledgeable car accident attorney will also be able to advise victims about how their own auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.