When a DUI driver is pulled over by police and charged, it is usually a misdemeanor. Things can change drastically when the driver is involved in an accident while intoxicated. Many people do not know that the driver does not necessarily need to be over the legal limit to be charged with DUI causing injury in California. As long as their behavior indicates that they were intoxicated, they can be charged with the crime. DUI causing injury carries stiffer penalties and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. For DUI causing injury to be charged as a felony, the victims need only to have serious injuries, like a broken bone.
The Calaveras Enterprise reports that four children have been injured in a suspected DUI crash.
The suspected DUI collision occurred on Tuesday on Highway 4 near Murphys.
According to the California Highway Patrol, at approximately 6:30 p.m., 38-year-old Sky Harris was driving a 2005 Subaru Forester east on Highway 4. When he attempted to make a left turn onto Northwood Drive, he did so directly into the path of a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country.
The driver of the van, 32-year-old Carlos Vigil was traveling at about 55 m.p.h. and attempted to swerve in an attempt to miss the vehicle. He struck the Subaru head-on.
There were four juvenile passengers in the van aged 3 to 14. All were injured in the crash. Three were transported to a hospital for treatment. Vigil was uninjured.
Harris sustained minor injuries. He was arrested and charged with felony DUI causing injuries.