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Articles Posted in Drunk Driving

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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A 70 year old San Bernardino man, Edward Stanley Baker, has been charged with a felony count of vehicular manslaughter, without gross negligence, in the wrongful death of a woman from an Orange County car accident. Mr. Baker, who allegedly failed a field sobriety test, was found to have a blood alcohol level of .22%, which is .14% higher than the California legal limit of .08%.

After the car accident in Orange County, Mr. Baker, who had nearly three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, had an empty vodka bottle in his car.

According to prosecutors, the Orange County wrongful death car accident allegedly happened when Mr. Baker did not slow down or stop for the other vehicle, which was making a legal left turn out of a parking lot. The driver of the other vehicle, Tamiko Kaminaga, 60 years old, was killed in the accident. Her passenger, her son, Jorge Maresch, suffered a broken nose and other facial lacerations.

Mr. Butler faces a potential maximum prison sentence of up to four years and prosecutors requested that he be held on $100,000.00 bail.

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In a tragic New Years Day Los Angeles car accident, two people were killed when their vehicle was hit by a drunk driver fleeing the police. Demetria Dorsey, and her husband, Kelvin Dorsey, were in their Infiniti, traveling South on Crenshaw, when they were struck by a Geo Prism, driven by Jorge Alberto Molina.

Molina, from Culver City, had allegedly sped through multiple red lights before colliding with the Dorsey’s Infiniti, causing the Infiniti to roll and hit a pole, killing both of its occupants. The Dorseys were driving home from a New Years party. Mr. Molina then fled on foot before collapsing and being arrested. Mr. Molina has been booked on two counts of murder and is being held on $1 million bail. The Los Angeles Police Department has said that Mr. Molina was driving while under the influence and that it was unclear if he knew that the police were chasing with him at the time of the Los Angeles auto collision.

Unfortunately, we see time and again innocent commuters or pedestrians in Los Angeles who are killed by drivers as a result of high speed pursuits. Here, Mr. Molina faces a Los Angeles wrongful death claim against him. We have previously proposed a re-thinking on when police should engage such pursuits, as the ends oftentimes do not justify the means. This allegedly drunk driver may have caused worse damage had he not been pursued, but more likely than not it was the LAPD vehicles which caused him to travel at high speeds and cause this collision. If the police had simply taken down his plates and watched with a helicopter overhead, without pursuing at high speeds on the ground, this tragedy might have been avoided.

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We would like to wish all of our readers a very happy and healthy new year!

As many of you know, the holiday season, including New Years, is a very dangerous time for road travel and many Los Angeles auto accidents happen during this time.

This year, the harsh weather, including extensive rain and, in some places, ice or snow, will make driving conditions extra dangerous in the greater Los Angeles area and throughout California.

For this reason, it is advisable to stay off of the roads during this time, whenever possible. If you plan on consuming alcohol to ring in the new year, take a taxi or have a designated driver. If you are planning on taking a taxi, you should make sure to have the number to a few taxi companies (as they are particularly busy on New Years) ready, to avoid any last minute problems.

As readers of our blog know, drunk drivers not only face the possibility of injuring themselves and others, but also expose themselves to a great risk of criminal prosecution if stopped by police or if they cause a California drunk driving accident. The small hassles of finding a designated driver or calling a taxi are more than worth it in the long run, as driving while impaired is not a risk worth taking.

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In what could have been a much worse disaster, two people survived a head on collision from a North Hollywood man driving on the wrong side of the road. Ezekial Rodriguez was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road when he caused a drunk driving accident in North Hollywood. The drunk driving collision happened on San Fernando Boulevard, under the I-5 freeway.

Mr. Rodriguez was taken into custody by Burbank police after he fled the scene of the North Hollywood car accident to a nearby McDonald’s. He was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, contributing to an injury collision and fleeing the scene. Mr. Rodriguez is being held on $10,000 bail.

The victims, a driver and passenger of a Toyota Corolla, whose names have not yet been released, had to be extricated from their car by Burbank firefighters responding to the North Hollywood auto accident. Their vehicle was demolished by the drunk driver and will be considered a total loss. We can only hope that the injuries to these innocent commuters are not life threatening or permanent.

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We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very happy and healthy holiday season!

We would also like to remind our readers that we know there are many temptations to drink in excess at holiday festivities, but please, given all the recent California drunk driving accidents, do not drink and drive. Remember to have a designated driver or take a taxi to avoid a California drunk driving accident or arrest.

Simple measures to avoid drunk driving can make the holidays more festive and enjoyable for you and all of your friends and family.

On April 9, 2009, Andrew Gallo, who was on parole for a felony DUI conviction, ran a red light and T-boned a car carrying Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, and three friends, in a horrific California drunk driving collision.

Adenhart, as well as Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson, were killed in the collision. Another passenger, Jon Wilhite, sustained catastrophic injuries as a result of this impact.

According to ESPN.com, Mr. Gallo, who had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the California legal limit of .08%, had been drinking beer and shots at three different bars with his stepbrother before causing this collision. Mr. Gallo’s Criminal defense attorney requested one sentence of 15 years to life for her client, with the argument being that he did not intend to hurt anyone.

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Another tragic California drunk driving collision resulted in the deaths of Steven Uselton and his son, Douglas Uselton. According to the Los Angeles Times, the driver of the other car, Rafael Lopez, has been charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter, for allegedly driving while intoxicated.

The Orange County car accident, which occurred this past Sunday, happened in the early hours of the morning and apparently Mr. Lopez was traveling at high speeds when he collided with the Uselton’s Buick.

Mr. Lopez, who is only 18 years old, now faces significant time in jail or prison as a result of this tragic California drunk driving accident. The family of the victims also has a potential wrongful death claim against Mr. Lopez. If Mr. Lopez does not have adequate insurance coverage, he could be found personally liable for the excess damages he has allegedly caused.

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