Most drivers who are under the influence are stopped by police before they can get into a crash. This is one reason that California courts treat DUIs that involve crashes much more seriously than a regular DUI. In some cases, a DUI involving a crash can lead to felony charges, which can affect the driver’s rights and future employment and education prospects.
A DUI is usually a misdemeanor. That can change in a crash, especially if the crash results in an injury or a fatality. In cases where there is serious injury or death, the DUI could be charged as a felony. The driver may also face additional charges such as DUI causing serious injury or gross vehicular manslaughter.
The Merced Sun-Star reports that a passenger has been seriously injured in a suspected DUI crash.
The crash occurred before 2:30 a.m. in Merced County on Shaffer Road near the intersection of Eucalyptus Avenue.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Alejandro Cortes Mandujano was driving a Honda Accord eastbound on Eucalyptus Avenue approaching the intersection. At the same time, a Dodge Durango was traveling north on Shaffer Road at about 50 m.p.h.
It is unclear if Mandujano failed to stop at the stop sign or stopped and pulled out into the path of the Dodge.
When first responders arrived, they found a female passenger had been partially ejected from the passenger side door. Madjurano was partially ejected through the windshield. Both suffered from major injuries.
The driver and passenger in the Dodge were able to exit the vehicle and were found sitting on the ground on the driver’s side.
Madjurano is suspected of driving under the influence. Once he has been treated for his injuries, he will be booked into Merced County Jail.