Most DUI suspects are caught by police before they can become involved in an accident, but not always. If a DUI causes serious injury, the DUI can be charged as a felony, even if it is the driver’s first DUI. “Serious” injury can be defined as broken bones, internal injuries, disabilities, and traumatic brain injuries. Not only are the penalties stiffer for felony DUI, but the intoxicated driver can be expected to pay reparations to the injured victims and may face civil litigation where punitive damages can be sought. Punitive damages are charged to the driver and not the insurance company.
The Daily News reports on a man who was seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle while walking his dog. The accident happened at about 10:55 p.m. in the 9500 block of Sunland Boulevard in Shadow Hills. According to authorities, the suspect was driving a 2017 Honda Accord at an unsafe speed heading west on Sunland Boulevard. The driver of the vehicle crashed into a 2019 Infiniti that was also heading west.
The impact caused the Infiniti to spin out of control, heading northwest, where it jumped a curb and then struck the pedestrian. The pedestrian, whose name was not released, is in his mid-50s. He was taken to the hospital where he is said to be in grave condition.
The driver of the Honda tried to flee on foot, but authorities were able to arrest him shortly after the collision. He was identified as 37-year-old Azaur Grigoryan and is being held at Valley Jail in Van Nuys. His bail was set at $2 million. Authorities believe that he was intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the collision.
Neither the driver nor the passenger in the Infiniti was hurt.