If you are arrested for driving under the influence in San Diego and there was an injury to another person you can (and likely will) be charged with violation of Vehicle Code section(s) 23153 (a) and/or (b). A prosecutor must prove that you caused the injury to the other person. Proving causation can be tricky but usually is arrived at by showing that you committed an unlawful act or that the injury was a result of your negligence. DUI with injury (Vehicle Code section(s) 23153 (a) and/or (b)) is known as a “wobbler” in the State of California. This means that it is at the discretion of a prosecutor to charge the crime as a misdemeanor or a felony. However, if it is your third conviction of DUI with injury then you will automatically face felony charges.
Understanding Vehicle Code §23153
Vehicle Code §23153 (a) states that it is unlawful for a person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.
What this means is that you can be charged with a San Diego DUI with injury even if your blood alcohol is under .08%. A prosecutor must shows that you were under the influence of alcohol. They will have the power and money of the State of California at their disposal to hire a toxicologist to say that people are impaired and therefore unable to drive at .05% BAC. It also means that the injury does not have to be to another driver, it can be to a passenger in your vehicle or a pedestrian or any other person besides yourself. A prosecutor, however, must prove that you were the proximate cause of the person’s injury.
Vehicle Code §23153 (b) states that it is unlawful for a person, while having .08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.
Known as the Per Se count, the State argues that all people are under the influence of alcohol and therefore too impaired to drive if their blood alcohol is .08% or higher. It is important to remember that you can be charged with a San Diego DUI if your blood alcohol level is under .08%. The prosecutor simply cannot charge you with this second count. You can also be convicted of one count and not the other one.
Fighting the charges – DUI with Injury
The consequences of a conviction for DUI with Injury are devastating. They can affect your entire life and could result in the loss of your job, driving privileges and even your freedom. Pleading guilty without consulting an attorney will result in jail time. You need to understand the charges that you are facing and fight hard to protect your rights and your freedom. You need the knowledge and training of the lawyers at the DUI Defense Law Group. Call our offices today for a free consultation (619) 796-6841. We will not hesitate to take your case to trial. Our advocates are here for you regardless of the circumstances of your case. Contact us today.