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All You Need to Know About California DUI Causing Injury Law

Posted by Dan Kann | Mar 09, 2024 | 0 Comments

California Vehicle Code Section 23153(a), often referred to as "DUI Causing Injury," outlines a serious offense that occurs when an individual operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and, as a direct consequence, causes bodily injury to another person. This statute is designed to address situations that go beyond standard DUI offenses, emphasizing the increased risk and potential harm caused by driving under the influence when it results in injury to others.

What Are the Elements of 23153(a), DUI Causing Injury?

Under California law, to be convicted of DUI causing injury under Vehicle Code Section 23153(a), the prosecution must prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • While driving under that influence, the defendant also committed an illegal act or neglected to perform a legal duty.
  • The defendant's illegal act or negligence caused bodily injury to another person.

This statute underscores the state's commitment to penalizing behavior that not only endangers the driver but also others on the road. It's important to note that "bodily injury" can range from minor injuries to more severe, life-altering conditions.

Penalties for DUI Causing Injury

The penalties for a conviction under Vehicle Code Section 23153(a) are severe and can include:

  • Imprisonment in county jail or state prison,
  • Fines,
  • Suspension of driver's license,
  • Mandatory DUI school,
  • And potentially, installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned by the defendant.

These penalties vary based on the severity of the injuries caused and whether the defendant has previous DUI convictions.

Examples of DUI Causing Injury

Consider the following hypothetical examples to illustrate the application of Section 23153(a):

  1. Example 1: John, after consuming several drinks at a bar, decides to drive home. On the way, he runs a red light and collides with another vehicle. The other driver sustains a broken arm due to the collision. In this case, John could be charged under Vehicle Code Section 23153(a) for DUI causing injury, as his intoxication directly contributed to the accident and the subsequent injury.

  2. Example 2: Sarah, under the influence of prescription drugs that impair her driving ability, fails to stop at a stop sign and hits a pedestrian crossing the street, causing the pedestrian to suffer a concussion. Sarah could face charges under Section 23153(a) for her role in causing bodily injury while DUI.

Defending Against DUI Causing Injury Charges

Defending against charges under Vehicle Code Section 23153(a) requires a nuanced understanding of both DUI laws and the specifics of the alleged offense. Potential defense strategies might include questioning the accuracy of the blood alcohol content (BAC) testing, challenging the assertion that the defendant was actually under the influence, or disputing the direct causation between the defendant's actions and the injuries sustained.

If You Are Charged With DUI Causing Injury, Call Us Now 

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI causing injury under California Vehicle Code Section 23153(a), it's crucial to seek experienced legal representation immediately. The Kann California Law Group specializes in defending individuals accused of DUI offenses, including those involving injuries. Our seasoned attorneys understand the complexities of DUI law and are dedicated to fighting for the rights and futures of our clients.

Don't navigate this challenging time alone. Contact the Kann California Law Group today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you mount a vigorous defense against these serious charges. Protect your rights, your freedom, and your future by choosing a defense team with a proven track record of success in DUI cases. Reach out to us through our online contact form. One of our DUI attorneys will call you shortly. Or feel free to call us at 888-744-7730. We look forward to discussing your case with you. 


About the Author

Dan Kann

Daniel E. Kann has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending individuals facing criminal prosecution in Southern California. Dan fights criminal cases throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


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