In California, as long as there are no aggravating factors, a person’s first, second, and third DUI charges are usually misdemeanors. This is not always the case because there are situations where an otherwise simple DUI may be charged as a felony. A person may be charged with felony DUI if there is an accident and another person is injured or is killed. If a person has three or more DUI or “wet reckless” charges in the previous ten years, the fourth DUI can be charged as a felony. If the person has one previous felony DUI conviction, the DUI will almost always be charged as a felony.
The Merced Sun-Star reports that a driver is suspected of DUI after a single-vehicle crash that resulted in serious injuries. The incident happened at just after 10 p.m. on Friday on Highway 99 just north of Shanks Road.
The California Highway Patrol determined that Leonardo Flores was driving a 2012 Ford Fusion southbound at an unknown speed. For reasons unknown, Flores allowed his vehicle to drift to the right and off the roadway. His vehicle then collided with a tree on the shoulder of the highway. The right-front passenger, Francisca Villa suffered from major injuries and was transported to a Modesto hospital. Flores suffered from minor injuries and was arrested before being transported to a hospital for treatment.
28-year-old Flores was arrested on felony DUI charges and taken to the Merced County Jail. Authorities stated that neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a seatbelt.