Alleged DUI Driver Crashes Near 605 Freeway, May Have Been Speeding Excessively

KTLA reports that an alleged DUI driver was speeding at 100 m.p.h. before a crash in Irwindale that injured two people. The crash occurred at about 8:40 p.m. on Sunday on Live Oak Avenue at the on-ramp to the southbound 605 Freeway. 

When officers responded, they found that three vehicles were involved, including one that had overturned. An infant as well as an adult suffered from minor injuries. They were transported to local hospitals. 

Police determined that 28-year-old Eric Vargas, who lives in Baldwin Park, may have been under the influence of alcohol. Witnesses reported that Vargas had been driving 100 m.p.h. shortly before the crash. Vargas was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. Once he was medically cleared, he was booked into the West Covina City Jail. Bail was set at $100,000.

Most DUIs in California are charged as misdemeanors. However, it is possible for a DUI to be charged as a felony under certain circumstances. The four circumstances where a DUI may be charged as a felony are when it is the fourth DUI offense within 10 years. If the driver has a previous felony DUI conviction, the DUI may be charged as a felony. If the DUI results in an accident causing serious injuries, it may be charged as a felony. Finally, if the DUI results in an accident causing death, the DUI can also be charged as a felony. For a fourth DUI charge, the penalties range from 16 months to 3 years in prison, 3 years as a habitual traffic offender, loss of driver’s license for up to 10 years, 18-30 months in DUI school, drug or alcohol treatment, and 5 years of probation. 

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