Saturday, July 26th, Ruel Balangue was killed instantly by a suspected drunk driver who was driving her car on the wrong side of the freeway. Balangue was driving home at about :52 a.m. when he apparently saw a Pontiac Grand Prix heading west in the same lane heading toward him. He died immediately, and the woman driving the other car suffered minor injuries and was transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland. She was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence.
Many people are the victim of a drunk driving accident. According to www.alcoholalert.com
All 50 states in the US and Puerto Rico now apply two statutory offenses to driving under the influence of alcohol. The first (and original) offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating [a motor vehicle] while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). This is based upon a police officer’s observations (driving behavior, slurred speech, the results of a roadside sobriety test, etc.)
The second offense is called “illegal per se”, which is driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher.
In 2006, there were 13,470 fatalities in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver (BAC of .08 or higher) – 32 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year.
16,005 people were killed in the United States in alcohol-related* motor vehicle traffic crashes (BAC of .01 or higher).
In 2006, 1,794 children age 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those 1,794 fatalities, 306 (17%) occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Children riding in vehicles with drivers who had a BAC level of .08 or higher accounted for half (153) of these deaths.
The 13,470 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in 2006 were almost the same as compared to 13,451 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities reported in 1996. Ten years of progress.
The 13,470 fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during 2006 represent an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 39 minutes.
The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes was four times higher at night than during the day.
The percentage of drivers with BAC of .08 or above in fatal crashes was highest for motorcycle operators (27 percent), followed by light trucks (24 percent), and then passenger cars (23 percent). The percentage of drivers with BAC levels of .08 or higher in fatal crashes was the lowest for large trucks (1%).
In fatal crashes in 2006, the highest percentage of drivers with a BAC level of .08 or higher was for drivers ages 21-24 (33%), followed by ages 25-34 (29%) and 35-44 (25%).
Drivers with a BAC level of .08 or higher involved in fatal crashes were eight times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired (DWI) than were drivers with no alcohol (8% and 1%, respectively).
In 2006, more than 8,200 (55%) of the drivers involved in fatal crashes who had been drinking had a BAC of .15 or greater.
As in previous years, in 2006, males comprise a majority, about 81 percent, of all drivers involved in fatal crashes with a BAC=.08+.
Attorney Moseley Collins has helped many people injured by drunk drivers. He was the founding President of the Santa Clara County chapter of MADD.
If you or a loved has been injured or killed by a drunk driver you have a claim for personal injury or wrongful death. It is vital that you find an experienced attorney to fight for your rights as a victim. So many times people incur huge bills after an accident like this.
Moseley Collins is a Sacramento personal injury attorney, specializing in major injury cases, including people injured or killed by drunk drivers.