A driver that was both over the legal limit for alcohol content and under the legal age for drinking pleaded guilty last month to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and drunk driving causing injury. Now, that 18-year-old driver has been sentenced to 11 years in California state prison. He also admitted to injuring three other people and fleeing the scene of the accident.
The accident occurred in Porterville, California in November 2014. According to prosecutors, the man had a blood alcohol level of .13 percent (.05 over California’s legal limit for driving) at the time of the crash. He was determined to be responsible for the death of a three-year-old child when he drove through a fence and hit several people who were buying treats from a Porterville ice cream truck, including that child. All other victims received treatment for minor injuries.
While most auto accident cases have to go through a lengthy process of investigating the cause of the accident and trying to determine whether a certain party was responsible or negligent, that process is somewhat expedited in DUI and hit-and-run cases because of the serious nature of the cases. DUI and hit-and-run charges indicate that the defendant was indeed at fault in the accident, meaning that there is a presumption of negligence. Therefore, victims might find that the process of recovering damages in such cases goes more smoothly than it typically would.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a drunk driver, meet with a skilled San Diego auto accident lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire to learn more about your legal options for seeking compensation.