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Serving Napa, Marin and Solano Counties

California crash may be due to drunk driving

A 58-year-old man is facing serious charges following a car accident police believe may have been caused by intoxication. California Highway Patrol arrested the man on Aug. 6 after the accident that injured two people, including the driver. He now stands charged with drunk driving but was released for treatment at a local hospital. 

According to the police report, around 2:00 p.m., the man did not accurately navigate a turn on Highway 154. This caused his car to strike the curb and overturn down a hill. Both he and his passenger, a 50-year-old woman, were rushed to local hospitals with injuries described as major. The man is said to have suffered internal injuries, and his passenger suffered head trauma. 

Police say they initially arrested the man on suspicion of drunk driving before remanding him to medical care. There was no mention in the report of how they came to this suspicion, but it seems likely that a breath test was not conducted at the scene given the nature and extremity of his injuries. So far, no court date has been announced. A court date will likely follow the man's release from the hospital. 

Drunk driving charges are very serious in the state of California, and if found guilty, the man could lose his license and face jail time. However, state police will have to provide evidence that he was intoxicated at the time of the crash. There was likely a blood test taken at the hospital, but tests taken a significant amount of time after a crash can be disputed in court, as the blood alcohol level indicated by such a test could be inaccurate to the level of intoxication experienced by the driver at the time of the crash itself. 

Source: ksby.com, "DUI suspected in crash along Highway 154", Aug. 8, 2017

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