If, while driving under the influence, you cause an injury to an individual other than yourself, you can be charged with California Vehicle Code 23513 VC DUI causing injury.
You are subject to California Vehicle Code 23153(a) VC “DUI causing injury” charges if it is found that, while you were driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, you violated any law or acted in a negligent manner, which subsequently caused bodily injury to any person other than yourself. If it is proven that you had a BAC of 0.08% or greater, you can be charged with California Vehicle Code 23153(b) VC “driving with a BAC of 0.08% or greater and causing any injury”. Contrary to 23153(a), instead of proving that you were driving under the influence, 23153(b) requires that the prosecutor prove that you were driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
Penalties for “DUI with Injury” differ depending on the circumstances of your case and your criminal history background. Penalties increase for each subsequent DUI following your first DUI conviction.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor DUI with injury, you are subject to the following penalties:
- A fine between $390 and $5,000
- A court-imposed alcohol program ranging from 3, 9, 18, 30 months
- A period of time ranging from 5 days to one year spent in county jail
- Informal probation between 3 to 5 years
- Suspension of driving privileges for one to three years
- Restitution to any victims
If you are convicted of a third 23153 DUI causing injury, it is considered a felony DUI with injury, and you will be subject to the following penalties:
- Fines between $1,015 to $5,000
- Court-imposed DUI school for 18 or 30 months
- A period of imprisonment for 2-4 years in California state prison
- An additional 3-year period of imprisonment that must be completed consecutively, if any victim suffers significant bodily injury
- One strike on your driving record if ay victim suffers significant bodily injury
- An addition one year prison sentence for any injury suffered
- Revocation of driving privileges for 5 years
- Habitual Traffic Offender status for 3 years
Defenses against DUI with injury are similar to those used against a DUI charge. Your defense attorney can argue that you were not under the influence or question the accuracy of the tests used to measure your BAC if your BAC was above 0.08%. Your defense attorney can also claim that your act of negligence or unlawful actions were not the cause of injury. An accident reconstruction expert can be used to study whether other factors such as the weather or road conditions might have been to blame for the accident.
Other matters related to Vehicle Code 23153 VC include California Penal Code 191.5 PC Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated, California VC 20001 Felony Hit and Run Involving Injury, and California Penal Code 2739 PC Child Endangerment.
You can be charged with Penal Code 191.5 vehicle manslaughter while intoxicated if in addition to driving under the influence:
- Your actions violate a law or cause the death of another person, or
- You commit an act expected to cause the death of another person.
You can be charged with Vehicle Code 20001 VC felony hit and run involving injury and or death if:
- You fail to stop and identify yourself following an accident
- You fail to administer assistance to any person requiring medical attention
You can be charged with Penal Code 273a child endangerment if:
- You had a child passenger in the car while you were driving under the influence