Officers Under Fire After Allowing Drunk Driver to Leave Crash Scene

A video of LAPD officers allowing a suspect to leave the scene of a four-car accident has gone viral and raised great concern by this Californian community. After crashing his own vehicle and hitting three others, the intoxicated man stumbled away without an arrest being made.

A suspected drunk driver hit three parked cars in Los Feliz, California on August 22nd at approximately 4 p.m. Officers dispatched to the scene allegedly did not perform necessary field sobriety tests on the driver who, according to witnesses, was visibly under the influence.

According to neighbors, the man kept drunkenly falling over and yelling at everyone, including the police and firefighters. Los Feliz resident Brock Williams shared the video and photos that led fellow neighbors to question law enforcement procedures or lack thereof.

When asked about the incident, the LAPD explained that officers on the scene make the call of whether to conduct a field sobriety test. In this case, the officers’ failure to do so left many people rightfully upset. One witness stated, “he could have killed someone, he could have injured people and have done a lot more damage than he did.”

In response to the community’s frustrations, the LAPD has launched a personnel investigation to closely examine the conduct of the officers in question.

It’s true that police officers have the authority to decide if and when field sobriety tests need to be administered to a possible drunk driver. However, that means they must know how to handle an accident scene in the proper manner with respect to safety. In this particular case, it doesn’t seem like the right decision was made in regard to the intoxicated man. And now a video of it has gone viral.

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13-Year-Old Girl Sadly Killed in Rollover Accident

On Sunday, August 30th, 2020, authorities responded to a report of a collision in Sunnyvale, California. The alleged DUI accident unfortunately resulted in the death of a 13-year-old girl.  

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a heavily damaged vehicle in the Central Expressway eastbound lanes. Emergency personnel found 13-year-old Michelle Hernandez suffering from major injuries that she sustained from the impact of the crash. She had been sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle when the accident occurred. Sadly, she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, identified as Bryan Gonzalez-Lopez, 18, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

According to the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, Gonzalez-Lopez was driving between Mary Avenue and Bernardo Avenue when he lost control of the vehicle. When authorities examined him closely, they suspected that he was inebriated.

They booked him into the Santa Clara County Jail and charged him with driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. Liability on the part of Gonzalez-Lopez appears clear in this incident. Although a first-time DUI is usually a misdemeanor, a minor was killed in this tragedy, which increases the likeliness of harsher DUI penalties. In this case, the court could charge the DUI as a felony.

To handle such a difficult case, the defendant will need legal representation experienced in processing the necessary information. At the Law Offices of Taylor & Taylor, our attorneys are qualified to provide every defendant with wise counsel and outstanding representation.

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Truck Driver Arrested for DUI After Accident Causes Power Outage

On Sunday August 30th, just after 8p.m., a semi-truck driver was taken into custody after striking a power pole in Santa Rosa, California. According to the news, the driver caused two separate DUI accidents leading up to his arrest

Officers had received reports that a semi-truck had slammed into a PG&E power pole before continuing to drive down the road. This triggered a power outage in the affected area. About half a mile from the downed power line, officers found the truck overturned and lying on its side. Apparently, the overturned truck had also released the large pipes it had been carrying, knocking onto the ground.

The second crash caused the driver of the semi-truck to be trapped in his vehicle, and fire personnel had to extricate him from the mess. Luckily, the driver came away from the accident with minimal injuries. 

Authorities noted that the driver showed signs of intoxication and required him to undergo a sobriety test. The results revealed his blood-alcohol level to be over 0.08%, higher than the legal limit. Furthermore, the legal limit when operating a commercial vehicle is 0.04%. The driver was arrested for suspicion of a DUI shortly after. His identity remains unreleased and investigations are ongoing.

Commercial License Drivers and DUIs

People who hold a commercial driver’s license are held to a higher standard than regular license holders. They are subjected to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirements that mandates that commercial drivers cannot use alcohol within four hours of operating a commercial vehicle. Potential court-ordered penalties for commercial drivers convicted of a first-time California DUI can include informal probation, up to one year in county jail, a fine and/or court-ordered California DUI school. If convicted twice, the commercial driver will lose their commercial license permanently.

Because commercial license drivers are faced with harsher penalties, they will need representation capable of navigating difficult cases as this. Here at the Law Offices of Taylor & Taylor, attorneys can ensure defendants will receive the best outcomes.

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Alleged DUI Driver Arrested Following Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident

Thirty-one-year-old Ali Zohair Fakhreddine was arrested after allegedly striking and killing an elderly woman and her dog and then fleeing from the scene. Authorities suspected that Fakhreddine drove drunk leading up to the fatal hit-and-run.

The crash occurred on Sunday, Sept. 6th at approximately 6:30 a.m. in Costa Mesa, CA. CHP spokesman Officer Florentino Olivera said Fakhreddine was driving southbound on Irvine Avenue when he sped through a red light at Mesa Drive. As Fakhreddine ran the light, he struck 72-year-old Newport Beach resident Cleausa M. Coffman who entered the crosswalk with her dog.

Emergency medical personnel reported that the injuries Coffman and her dog sustained were extremely severe. Unfortunately, both victims succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene of the crime. Officers immediately launched a search for Fakhreddine’s vehicle; he was reported to be driving a silver 2014 Hyundai Sedan.

A few hours later, the Riverside Police Department received a call about a head-on traffic collision involving a vehicle that fit this description. When authorities arrived at the scene, they found Fakhreddine passed out at the wheel of the silver sedan.

When officers examined his vehicle and saw the blood and damage, they determined that it was the same one involved in the killing of a pedestrian. Authorities took Fakhreddine into custody and booked him into the Orange County Jail on DUI and felony hit-and-run charges.

Because this is Fakhreddine’s third DUI offense, prosecutors are aiming to ensure he faces maximum penalties for his crime. The courts set bail at $1 million, and the defendant may face up to 19 years to life in prison.

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Teen DUI Suspect May Face Charges for Accident Involving a Metro Bus

On Wednesday at approximately 10:45 a.m., a teenage driver collided with a Metro Bus when he allegedly ran a red light in East Los Angeles, California. According to California Highway Patrol, the 17-year-old driver was driving southbound in a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle on Downey Road when it crashed into the Metro. 

Unfortunately, this teen DUI crash was quite severe, sending 14 people to the hospital to receive medical treatment. Three of the victims ended up in critical condition, while the other victims sustained minor injuries. 

When the Volkswagen Beetle made impact, it got mangled between the front of the bus and a traffic light pole. Shortly after the crash, the authorities arrested the young boy on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He has since been released into his parents’ custody while authorities determine the charges for this teen DUI case. The identity of the driver has not been revealed as the investigation is ongoing. 

Since this is the defendant’s first DUI, he would normally be charged with a misdemeanor. However, because he caused major bodily harm, a prosecutor may try to seek maximum penalties against him. It is imperative that he seeks counsel from lawyers who are well-equipped to handle difficult cases such as this. Here at the Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor, our defense attorneys are more than capable of offering the proper defense needed to take on such a case.

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