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Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers, APC
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DUI Accident Claims in California

DUI Accident Claims

DUI accident claims in California happen with frequency. In fact, according to the CA Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, the number of crash injuries involving alcohol has averaged between 10 and 12 percent for the past several years and drivers aged 21 to 24 years comprise 35% of the persons arrested for driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher and males are more likely to drive drunk than females.

How Do Alcohol or Drugs Affect one’s Ability to Operate a Motor Vehicle?

The average BAC of a DUI offender is .15 percent. As little as .02 percent has been shown to affect motor skills required for driving and the probability of a motor vehicle incident increases from .o5 percent and significantly increases at rates higher than .08 percent, which is the legal limit for adults 21 or older in the Golden State. Likewise, drugs like marijuana, heroin and opiates such as Vicodin or Oxycontin severely impact the capacity to vehiculate by impairing the sensory perceptions of the operator including delay in perception reaction time.

What is the Legal Definition of Driving Under the Influence Under the CA Vehicle Code?

Vehicle Code section 23152 states that it is unlawful for any person to drive an automobile, bus, van, truck, RV, motorcycle (or even a bicycle) after consuming any illicit narcotics or a measurable amount of beer, liquor or wine. The BAC limit is .08 by weight if the driver is 21 or older and less if they are under age. This limit is lowered to .04 percent for commercial drivers such as truck operators, taxi cabbies and chauffeurs.

How Does a DUI Affect a Civil Claim for Personal Injuries?

In addition to criminal prosecution, one may be subject to a lawsuit for recovery of money damages for being DUI and causing bodily harm and property damage. As a further consequence, the California Supreme Court has held that punitive (or damages meant to punish) are recoverable from an intoxicated automobile driver, because the person who voluntarily drinks or does drugs knowing they will drive demonstrates a conscious and deliberate disregard of the safety of other persons. (See Taylor v. Superior Court (1979) 24 Cal.3d 890, 892). In addition, the owner of the vehicle may be liable for negligent entrustment of their vehicle if they knew or had reason to know that they were allowing an intoxicated person to operate the car. This includes employer liability for accidents involving drunk or high employee under Cal. Civil Code section 3333.7.

Client Reviews
I have known Steven for some time now and when his services were required he jumped in and took control of my cases. I had two and they were handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. He went the extra mile regardless of the bumps in the road. I can not see me using any other attorney and I would recommend him to any of my family and friends. Josie A.
Steven was vital during our most trying time. He was referred by a friend after an accident that involved a family member. While he was critical and lying in the hospital, Steven was kind, patient and knowledgeable about what we were going through. Following our loss, Steven became a tough and aggressive negotiator and made sure that we receive a huge compensation. I would refer Steven in fact, this happened 2 years ago and I still speak highly of his service. Cheryl S.
Mr. Sweat is a pitbull in the courtroom as well as settlement negotiations - You can't have a better equipped attorney in your corner! It is a pleasure working as colleagues together on numerous cases. He can get the job done. Jonathan K.
Because of Steven Sweat, my medical support was taken care of. Plus, I had more money to spare for my other bills. Steven is not only an excellent personal injury lawyer, providing the best legal advice, but also a professional lawyer who goes beyond his call of duty just to help his clients! He stood up for me and helped me get through the process. I would definitely recommend. I couldn't think of any better lawyer than him. MiraJane C.
I must tell anyone, if you need a great attorney, Steve sweat is the guy! I had an awful car accident and had no idea where to turn. He had so much to deal with because my accident was a 4 car pile up. Not to mention all the other cars were behind me and they were not wanting to settle in any way! He never stopped working for me and had my best interest at heart! Audra W.
I believe I made the best choice with Steven M Sweat, Personal Injury. I was very reluctant to go forward with my personal injury claim. I had a valid claim and I needed a professional attorney to handle it. I felt so much better when I let Steven take my case. His team did everything right and I am very satisfied. Stia P.
I have to say that Steve has been exemplary! I met Steve at a point with my case that I was ready to give up. He took the time and dealt with all of my concerns. Most importantly, he was present and listened to what I was going through. He was able to turn things around, put me and my case on the right track! The results were better that expected! Highly recommend!! Cody A.