A great majority of DUIs are stopped by police before they can get into an accident. Unfortunately for the others that are involved in an accident and charged with DUI, the charges can quickly escalate. For example, a DUI is normally a misdemeanor charge. However, if there is an accident and people are injured, the charges can quickly become a felony. This is especially true if there are serious injuries involved. If the accident causes the death of another person, the driver could be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or DUI murder. Both of these are felonies and can come with significant jail time if convicted.
California Penal Code 647(f) prohibits the act of being drunk in public, which means being in a public place and unable to exercise care for one’s own safety or the safety of others, or obstructing a public way. This offense is a misdemeanor and can result in fines, community service, and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months.
The LA Times reports that a teenager who was allegedly driving while intoxicated was involved in a head-on crash that claimed the life of a woman. The crash happened at about 9:25 p.m. on Wednesday in Huntington Beach on Gothard Street near Center Avenue.
An unnamed 17-year-old male was driving a 2013 Nissan Rogue north in the southbound lanes of Gothard Street. He crashed into a 2016 Kia Soul, the impact of which caused major damage to both vehicles.
A passenger in the back seat of the Soul, identified as Susan Palmer, suffered from serious internal injuries. She was rushed to UMCI Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. Both the driver and the front-seat passenger in the Soul complained of pain. The driver of the Rogue only suffered from minor injuries.
The accident is still under investigation. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Huntington Beach police.