Driving under the influence causing injury is defined under California Vehicle Code VC 23153 as when a person drives under the influence and causes bodily injury to another person. Under the law, that person may be a passenger in the driver’s vehicle, another motorist, or a pedestrian. The charge is known as a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.
The penalties of being convicted of DUI causing injuries can vary depending upon the circumstances of the accident and the criminal history of the driver. A conviction of misdemeanor DUI causing injury can mean a term of five days to one year in jail. A conviction of felony DUI causing injury can lead to a term of two, three, or four years in a California prison.
The Santa Maria Times reports that a wrong-way collision in Orcutt injured two people and is suspected of being alcohol-related.
The crash occurred on Tuesday just before 9:45 p.m. just north of Highway 135 and Highway 1 “Y” intersection near Orcutt.
According to the California Highway Patrol, 26-year-old Fidel Ortiz-Pausano was driving northbound in the southbound lane of Highway 135. He collided head-on with a Toyota Highlander that had been traveling in the opposite direction in the same lane.
Both drivers only sustained minor injuries in the crash, but both vehicles were significantly damaged.
Ortiz-Pausano was subsequently arrested on suspicion of DUI causing injury.