DUI WITH INJURY
CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE 23153:
In California, a DUI Causing Injury is governed by Vehicle Code (VC) 23153. In essence, the code states that it is unlawful to operate a vehicle, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and concurrently cause injury to another by acting negligently or illegally. Depending on the case, a DUI Causing Injury can be brought as either felony or misdemeanor.
As the code points out, there are three distinct ways that a driver can be “under the influence”.
- First, if the driver’s ability to drive is impaired as a result of alcohol intoxication, they are considered under the influence.
- Second, if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than .08%, they are considered under the influence.
- Third, if the driver’s ability to drive is impaired as a result of the use of any drug, they are considered under the influence.
Additionally, to be convicted of VC 23153, the driver must:
- cause injury to another
- by concurrently acting illegally or negligently.
Basically, this means that the driver must, in addition to being under the influence, also be at fault for the injury.
The Elements of a DUI Causing Injury Case
Like in any criminal case, it is the prosecutions burden to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. VC 23153 – DUI Causing Injury contains the three following elements:
- The driver violated California’s Driving Under the Influence (DUI) law;
- The driver also acted illegally or negligently while driving; and
- The driver’s illegal or negligent behavior caused injury to another.
Typically, the first two elements are more difficult to prove than the third, and are more likely to be attacked in the defense of VC 23253 case.