California has two versions of Vehicle Code 23151, otherwise known as “Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Causing Injury.” VC 231519(a) covers when a person has some alcohol or drugs in their system, but not necessarily enough to be “over the limit.” VC23151(b) covers when a driver may or may not have been impaired but had a blood alcohol limit of .08% or more. This means that even if a person was not over the legal limit, they can be charged with driving under the influence causing injury. This offense can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports on a suspected DUI accident that left one person dead and two injured.
The crash happened at about 9:50 p.m. Sunday on the westbound side of the 10 Freeway west of Barranca Street. According to the California Highway Patrol, a La Puente man, 89, was killed at the scene. The victim was riding in a 1998 Ford Explorer being driven by another La Puente man, identified as 57-year-old Gerardo Alvarez. The CHP believes that Alvarez was driving at a speed that was not safe for traffic conditions when he slammed into the back of a 2002 Nissan Altima. The Ford overturned and the driver of the Nissan suffered from moderate injuries.
Alvarez was taken to the hospital with a head injury but was also placed under arrest. He will be taken into custody once medically cleared.
Police believe that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.