In California, the penalties for a DUI are rather harsh, even if there was no accident involved. When an accident is involved with a DUI charge, the penalties can increase substantially. The more serious the injuries that people sustained in the accident, the more severe the penalties can become. For example, if there were no serious injuries, the prosecutor may ask for the full six-month period of jail time that is the maximum in a DUI charge. If the injuries are minor, there is a minimum of five days of jail time and a license suspension of at least one year. If the injuries are serious, the DUI charge can be upgraded to felony DUI causing injury. For this charge, the maximum sentence is five years in state prison for each person injured.
KTLA reports that a suspected DUI driver going the wrong way slammed into another vehicle, leaving the other driver dead.
The incident occurred at just before midnight on Sierra Avenue near Baseline Avenue in Fontana. A motorist who was driving a Mercedes C230 was traveling north in the southbound lanes and slammed into an oncoming Nissan Rogue.
The driver of the Mercedes was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The driver of the Nissan was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators currently believe that the driver of the Mercedes, whose name was not released, was driving under the influence. The victim was identified by his brother as George Estrada.
The scene of the accident was closed by police as they worked to investigate and clear the accident. Sierra Avenue was reopened by 4 a.m.