Any DUI in California can mean serious consequences, but if the driver is in an accident that leads to serious injuries, the penalties can be harsh. California has a law that covers driving under the influence causing injury. Depending upon the extent of the injuries suffered, this charge could be a felony or a misdemeanor. California considers even a broken bone to be a “serious” injury, which would mean the driver may face felony charges. The penalties for the felony charges can range from 16 months to 3 years in state prison. The driver will also have to spend 3 years on California’s habitual offender list. They may also lose their driver’s license for 5 years.
Noozhawk reports that a suspect has been charged in a horrific Santa Barbara DUI crash.
The accident occurred on May 7th at about 1 a.m. on Cliff Drive.
19-year-old Sofia Nicole Koch was allegedly intoxicated and speeding in a Range Rover that had been stolen earlier that night from a party.
As she traveled at speeds topping 100 m.p.h., she clipped a Volvo station wagon just a few blocks east of Meigs Road. She then slammed into a Toyota Scion sedan. The impact mangled the Scion and pushed it more than 50 yards down the road.
Koch’s passenger, Maesyn Fitzgibbons, suffered from serious injuries, including a broken pelvis and other broken bones, excessive blood loss, and the amputation of her lower left leg.
Koch surrendered herself on May 20th and is facing felony charges of driving under the influence causing injury, driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher causing injury, and vehicle theft. She is also facing misdemeanor charges of driving without a license, and enhancements of excess speed, refusing a blood-alcohol test, and being a habitual criminal.