Yes, it is embarrassing to get caught and stigmatized. But it is also deadly to many who were struck by an out of control drunkard. The plain truth is, every single DUI accident did not have to happen. And most would not happen if people were responsible.
But that would require them upholding their social contract to act reasonably. Ehline Law Firm assists bikers run over by alcohol or drug impaired drivers. And this firm has assisted thousands of auto injury victims. In fact, we have won large verdicts and settlements.
In any event, we say: "Just don't drink and drive." Also, when people get hurt on motorcycles from a DUI incident, the results are usually grave. Most of the time, these remain tragic and often fatal to riders. So we offer help to riders in the form of legal assistance.
California Vehicle Code Sec 23152 states: (a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle. (Read more.)There is some confusion as to what a vehicle is, or isn't. The California Vehicle Code classifies even a bicycle as a vehicle for purposes of DUI:
California Vehicle Code Sec 670 states: A "vehicle" is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway. , excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. (Read more).This means that a pedal pushed bicycle, a Vespa, motor scooter, all the way to a commercial truck, bus, or other powered conveyance can be deemed a motorized vehicle, subject to criminal prosecution for DWI.California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Furthermore, the most cutting edge statistics indicate that alcohol-related roadway killings went down from 0.31% in 2008 all the way to 0.28% in 2009. But the DUI death rate in the Golden State is lower than the national average of 0.36%.
In any event, California ranks high in overall traffic fatality rates. In fact, California has one of the highest death rates for roadway incidents. As a percent of total deaths, these lowered from 30% in the year 2009 to 29% in 2010. And it has only fluctuated slightly up until now.
And getting thrown into the pavement at high, or even low speed means the rider will never be the same again. Also, they do not have the luxury of a metal enclosure with seat-belts. Plus they don't have an airbag. Riders who are struck, or cut off, tend to get thrown off the bike.
Also, they tend to get tossed around like a rag doll. Thrown riders also regularly get chewed up by the asphalt. In fact, these are just some of the impact injuries they tend to suffer.
Left-hand turn accidents, lane swerving, hard braking, and rear enders increase when drunks are on the road. Intoxicated drivers traversing the streets, exhibit decreased visibility, lack of environmental awareness, and reduced reaction times. All this makes the probability of a wreck much greater when someone is driving drunk.
Of utmost importance to recognize is that when a cyclist is riding down the highway is hard to spot. Also, at dawn and dusk, they are even harder to see. And this is when many people drink or are returning from drinking.
No matter how a rider is put out of commission, the drunk driving defendant who was negligent must reimburse hospital bills. Also, they are on the hook for lost wages, and pain and suffering. Furthermore, sometimes they may have to pay punitive damages.
But they may place you on probation. And this is separate from what a judge in a criminal court says. One is administrative under Penal Code Section 9. The other is a criminal case.
Typically an arrested rider has ten days, which includes holidays, weekends, etc., from the arrest date, to request an administrative hearing with the DMV. If he fails to do so, he faces a permanent suspension of his driving license. If a rider does not properly request to attend the hearing, there is the risk of an automatic suspension.
All the hearing officer needs to do is verify that the arresting agency had a reasonable belief that the rider was intoxicated or under the influence (a crime). Next, they must believe you committed the offense.
The last thing they have to find is that the arrestee had 0.08 percent or by volume, or higher, of alcohol content in their blood stream. (See CVC Section 23152.)
Most unrepresented parties are in violation and lose their license (but often they can get a temporary to and from work license). A represented party fares much better. Also, the attorney can stand in their stead. This way, no privileges need to be waived prior to the DMV handing down the suspension or other action.
This means riders may feel the weight of all the cards stacked against them. And all the while they may await a criminal tribulation. First offenses with no injury to person or property usually involve a three (3) year probation. Probably they will include some AA meetings, heavy fines, and MADD classes. Other times poor riders can attend Cal-trans roadside trash pick up in exchange for paying fines.
But first offenses involving serious injury, death or property damage remain harsh on defendants. In any case, if you want to break the public laws, don't expect to win. Remember the famous song: "I fought the law, and the law won." Don't think you're an exception!
Safe ingress and egress on the highways and roadways of California is the responsibility of all vehicle operators. Drinking and driving places the general population and public at large in an unfair, un-bargained position. Placing life at risk and becoming a name taker, is not what any self-respecting rider would ever want to happen.
As a matter of fact, they must pay compensation for pain, suffering and lost wages. Also included in the award are medical bills and care. The same would apply if the shoe was on the other foot.
Some other faulty actions taken by drunks on the road include striking curbs, or near misses, or sudden braking. Other problems include driving too slow for the conditions, or too fast for the conditions. And this includes ghost riding (wrong way drivers), and impaired responses. Also, these include clear and present dangers, and erratic stop and go patterns.
So we fight hard to preserve your legal rights. And this includes attending your own DMV hearing. So while you await your criminal trial, call us for a no win no fee case consultation. Call now at (888) 400-9721.
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