Motor vehicles can become dangerous weapons when a driver is inexperienced, reckless, or simply does not respect the laws governing our Southern California roadways. The most blatant example of this is the drunk driver.

National Highway Traffic Safety Statistics show the following facts regarding motorists driving while under the influence of alcohol.

• In 2008 Approximately 12,000 people were killed in traffic accidents related to Drunk Driving.
• 5,432 drivers, ages 21 to 34 were killed in motor vehicle crashes.
• 32% of drivers killed in vehicle crashes on weekends were impaired by alcohol and 15% of drivers killed in vehicle crashes during the week were alcohol impaired.
• 32% of fatal motor vehicle crashes involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration above .08.

In San Diego the penalty paid for a DUI depends on whether it is the1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th offense. Maybe we are being a little opinionated here, but if someone has a 4th DUI perhaps the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUI penalties weren’t harsh enough.

Here is the difference between the 1st DUI and 4th DUI penalty:

First offense  –  Classification: Misdemeanor

A person’s first DUI will land them in jail for a minimum of 48 hours, a minimum fine of $390.00, 6 month suspended driver’s license, mandatory DUI school, possible community service, and 3-5 years of probation. Also the drunk driver’s automobile will be impounded and they will have mandatory SR22 insurance.

Fourth offense –  Classification: Felony

Prison sentence for this one is a Minimum of 16 months and a maximum of 3 Years. The fine is the same as the 1st DUI offense and driver’s License Revocation is 5 yrs. And that is if there were 2 prior DUIs within 5 years.

Of course there are further penalties for individuals who have caused damage and injury to others during a drunken driving accident on our San Diego roads and freeways. For those who have been injured by a drunk driver, having an experienced auto accident and personal injury lawyer will be necessary to ensure those victims and their families see justice and are properly compensated for their losses.

Whether you need advice, want to know your rights, or you or someone you know needs strong legal representation, Harris Personal Injury Lawyers located in San Diego can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Also here is some advice from www.DMV.org on what you can do if you witness unsafe or drunk driving:

“If you notice someone driving in an unsafe manner, call 911. Report what you saw. Identify the vehicle color, make, model, and license plate number whenever possible.”

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