Huntington Beach Police Department officials suspect that drunk driving may have been a contributing factor in an accident that left a woman hospitalized after she drove her vehicle through a dead-end street and into the Bolsa Chica Wetlands.
The accident was reported just after midnight near the 18200 block of Springdale Street in Huntington Beach early Tuesday. According to officials, the woman's vehicle crashed through the end of the street and became airborne briefly, crossing a small stream before coming to a stop on the wetlands. The female driver was airlifted to UCI Medical Center in Orange for medical treatment, though the extent of her injuries was not reported.
Officials have said that no other vehicles were involved in the accident, and no arrests or charges have been filed in relation to the incident, but drunk driving is suspected.
DUI, or driving under the influence, is one of the most commonly charged offenses in Orange County and across California. This criminal offense occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, which means that the driver has a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater or has abilities that are impaired by alcohol or drugs. When drivers are involved in auto accidents like the one discussed above, they run the risk of facing DUI charges if law enforcement suspects that alcohol or drugs were involved.
In the above case, the woman was taken to the hospital to be treated for her injuries. If law enforcement officials believe that she may have been driving under the influence at the time of the accident, they may attempt to recover information regarding her blood alcohol concentration. The hospital may take a blood sample as she undergoes treatment, and this sample can be tested for alcohol or drugs. Depending on the amount found, if any, the woman may be charged with DUI.
DUI charges in Orange County can carry harsh penalties, including imprisonment, license suspension, fines, court fees, and probation. A driver may even face felony charges if he or she is accused of causing injury to another person in a DUI-related auto accident. In extreme cases, a driver may even face vehicular manslaughter or even second-degree murder charges. (These severe charges typically only apply if someone has died in the collision and the driver has one or more prior DUI convictions on his or her record.)
At the Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, we represent defendants across Orange County in the face of misdemeanor and felony DUI charges. If you were involved in an accident and subsequently arrested for DUI, you need to move quickly to protect your interests. Your freedom and driving privileges may be on the line, not to mention your employment, reputation and financial stability. With our experience in challenging drunk driving charges, we can offer insight that helps you make informed choices about your case and your legal counsel. Call today and involve an Orange County criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights.