Articles Posted in Drunk Driving

In our Los Angeles personal injury law practice, we help many victims of accidents involving intoxicated drivers. We know that many people will be celebrating St. Patrick’s day with some beer or whiskey. Please remember not to drink and drive. Not only will there be many police checkpoints, but the damages caused by drunk drivers can be catastrophic.

If you are planning on drinking today, make sure you have a designated driver who will stay sober. If not, go somewhere within walking distance or use a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft. They can usually pick you up all over Los Angeles and the prices are very reasonable.

Please make sure not to be a drunk driving statistic and have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!

According to the Los Angeles Times, the 4th of July holiday is the deadliest day for Los Angeles car accidents. AAA reports that teens account for approximately 10% of the traffic fatalities on Independence Day. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) cites that a drunk driver is involved in 39% of the car accident deaths on the 4th of July. This compares to 31% of car accident fatalities on other days.

The rise in drunk driving accidents on the 4th of July is partly due to the fact that schools and most businesses are closed, so there are more people on the road. This, combined with the many 4th of July parties around Los Angeles, often involving large amounts of alcohol, contributes to many Los Angeles car accidents.

It is also important to note that many police agencies around California will be setting up DUI checkpoints, to try to catch drunk drivers before they cause a Los Angeles car accident.

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This Saturday is Saint Patrick’s Day, a holiday recognizing Saint Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. As the holiday is often associated with the lifting of restrictions on drinking alcohol, this is a day that many people will be drinking throughout Los Angeles County. This holiday, combined with the rain showers that are expected throughout the weekend, can lead to heightened car accident dangers on the roads.

We at Gary K. Walch, A Law Corporation, wish to remind our readers to be extra cautious when driving this weekend. As with most holiday weekends, there will be people drinking and driving. It is important to remember that no matter how short the trip, or how costly the transportation, never drink and drive. If you plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or can arrange for a taxi or other transportation. The cost of a taxi is always cheaper than a DUI arrest or, even worse, a drunk driving car accident.

If you are intoxicated and cause a Los Angeles car accident, not only will you be financially responsible for any personal injuries you cause, you may also be subject to criminal liability, which may include jail or prison time. It is anticipated that the Los Angeles Police Department will set up checkpoints throughout the city to try to preemptively stop drunk drivers, before they cause a car accident in Los Angeles.

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A Woodland Hills man was arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly causing a Malibu car accident. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Malibu accident happened on Pacific Coast Highway, after two L.A. County Sheriff deputies had just returned to their squad car from a sweep of the beach. Once in the car, the man, Mark Liebrecht, who was arrested for driving under the influence, apparently rear ended the stopped police car and pushed it down an embankment and into the ocean.

The car accident in Malibu resulted in injuries to the two sheriff deputies, who were rescued by fire personnel. The Malibu rear end car accident injuries included a serious lumbar injury to one of the officers, while the other officer sustained a shoulder injury as well as an injured clavicle.

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Starting this weekend, the Los Angeles Police Department, in an effort to prevent Los Angeles drunk driving accidents and injuries, will be setting up checkpoints throughout the city. The checkpoints, designed to catch drunk drivers before they are in a Los Angeles car accident, will be up from 8pm until 2am and this particular program will go through the Labor Day extended weekend.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there will be 100 police agencies involved and the checkpoints will be spread out throughout the Los Angeles area.

The L.A. Times cites the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which provides that in 2009, there were 10,839 accident deaths in car and motorcycle accidents where a driver was legally intoxicated. The most common age group for these fatalities was 21 through 24 years old.

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A personal injury judgment of 4.9 million dollars has been awarded against Barron Hilton, the brother of Paris Hilton, for causing a Malibu car accident. The judgment orders Mr. Hilton to pay 4.6 million dollars for pain and suffering to a gas station employee who was struck by Mr. Hilton’s vehicle, allegedly while Hilton was driving drunk.

According to reports, Mr. Hilton was driving erratically in Malibu, including on the wrong side of the road on Pacific Coast Highway, before pulling into a gas station where he struck Fernando Tellez with his Mercedez-Benz. Mr. Hilton’s blood alcohol level at the time of the car accident in Malibu was .14%, which is significantly above the .08% limit in California.

Due to the circumstances, Mr. Hilton was ordered to pay $225,000.00 in punitive damages to Mr. Tellez, as well as $71,000.00 for interest on the damages. With payment for past medical bills and loss of earnings, the total judgment amounts to $4,600,000.00.

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Denis Alberto Reyes has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for causing a Long Beach Wrongful Death Accident that killed four people. Reyes, who was driving a stolen car, was apparently involved in a drag race with a Mustang, when the two vehicles collided.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Long Beach accident caused the ejection from the vehicle of the driver of the Mustang and two passengers. All three died from the Long Beach car accident, as well as another passenger who died later at a hospital.

Reyes, who was 17 at the time, and fled the scene of the car accident in Long Beach, was later arrested. He pled no contest to four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of car theft and hit and run causing death.

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Ashton Sweet, a 14 year old girl, was left with brain damage after the vehicle she was in was struck by a drunk driver in an Irvine car accident. Doctors have declared that the brain damage is irreversible and Sweet is being kept alive while doctors determine if her organs are suitable for donation. Other girls in the vehicle suffered injuries, including Krista Merassa, 15 years old, who suffered serious or catastrophic injuries, and was listed in critical condition.

The girls were passengers in a car driven by one of the girl’s father, when they were struck by the alleged drunk driver, Austin Farley, a 26 year old Irvine man. Farley was arrested on suspicion of DUI and is awaiting his court appearance. Farley and the passenger in his vehicle were not injured in the car accident in Irvine.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Farley pled guilty to DUI in 2009 and also pled guilty to driving with a suspended or revoked license and refusal to take a chemical test for DUI in 2005.

In addition to the serious criminal charges that Farley will be facing, he will also likely be held liable for Irvine wrongful death damages, for the tragic eventual death of Ashton Sweet.

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Danae Marie Miller, has been arrested and booked on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, for a Newport Beach accident that resulted in the wrongful death of a bicyclist. The fatal collision occurred on San Joaquin Hills Road in Newport Beach.

According to the Los Angeles Times, court records show that Ms. Miller has received 16 traffic citations since 2005. Her alleged infractions included driving the wrong way on a street, failure to stop for a stop sign, speeding and talking on her cell phone while driving.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department records show that Ms. Miller, who is 22 years old, was released after posting $100,000 bail.

In addition to the criminal charges against Ms. Miller, the family of the victim will also have a possible Newport Beach wrongful death claim against Miller. It remains to be seen if Ms. Miller will have enough insurance coverage to cover the significant wrongful death damages that the victim’s family will likely be claiming.

If there is not enough insurance coverage, the family may seek personal assets from Ms. Miller and, even though the wrongful death victim was on a bike, the family may make a claim with any uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage that might have covered the victim.

According to records, since July 2009, this was the fourth fatal bicycle accident between a vehicle and a cyclist in Newport Beach.

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This Sunday, at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time, the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. Many people will be watching the game throughout California in home parties or at sports bars.

Due to the serious and potentially disastrous effects of drunk driving, including the possibility of a dui arrest, a car accident, injuries or death, we wish to remind everyone to enjoy the game responsibly. If you are going to be drinking while watching the game, make sure you have a designated driver or a taxi lined up to take you home.

The Super Bowl should be enjoyed, but not at the expense of someone’s life, including your own. Please do not drink and drive and have safe and fun Super Bowl watching experience.

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