Alleged DUI Road Crash Kills One and Hospitalizes Four

On Saturday June 27th, a 25-year-old man died after he was ejected from his car following an alleged DUI hit-and-run. The driver, identified as Jesus Gonzalez, had four other passengers in his vehicle—three minors and one young adult. 

According to the authorities’ investigation, Gonzalez was speeding down a curve before he lost control of his vehicle. Due to his delayed reaction time and impaired coordination, he swerved haphazardly from the northbound lane into the southbound lane. Somehow, during this action, his vehicle flipped and landed on its roof.

Gonzalez did not have on his seat belt at the time of the crash and was thrown out of the car upon impact. Sadly, he succumbed to his injuries and died at the scene. The four surviving passengers were taken to a local hospital for medical treatment. 

Although only Gonzalez’s vehicle was present at the scene, officers determined that another car played a role in the crash. Investigators believed that, at some point, the two cars bumped into one another. An unlicensed Rosalio Galindo Jr. later returned to the scene of the crash and identified himself as the other driver involved in the fatal crash. Officers believe that alcohol may be a factor. 

Consequently, authorities arrested Galindo Jr. He is now facing felony hit-and-run charges while the investigation continues.

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DUI Offender Arrested After Fleeing Scene of Crime

Drinking and driving is a serious and deadly crime. Even a small amount of alcohol in your system can lead to harmful situations. On Monday, June 29th 2020, a woman identified as Kenia Rodriguez made the dangerous decision to drive while intoxicated and caused a fatal accident

The collision occurred around 2:30 a.m. along Highway 180. Rodriguez was traveling eastbound in a 2000 Toyota when she lost control of her vehicle and struck a pedestrian walking on the shoulder of the highway. Instead of stopping to check on the victim, Rodriguez continued speeding down the highway. 

Unfortunately, the crash was fatal. The victim identified as Heather Martinez, 42, of Fresno, sustained critical injuries that could not be medically treated. Emergency medical personnel pronounced her dead shortly after the incident.

Rodriguez was later apprehended and found to be impaired by a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy who stopped the Toyota near the scene. Officers arrested her on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and a hit-and-run. 

Rodriguez is currently booked at the Fresno County Jail while authorities further investigate the fatal crash.

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Racially Motivated DUI Stops in America Are a Problem

When I was a young adult, I was eager to take my new driver’s license and shiny car out into the world. My parents constantly reminded me to drive safe, go the speed limit, and avoid the freeway if possible. They told me to text or call them when I arrived safely at my location, but not once did my parents have to rehearse with me what to do if I was pulled over by a police officer.

Never did my parents tell me, “Lower your window so the officer can see you, turn on your lights, keep your hands visible, always have your license and registration with you, and don’t make sudden movements.” The same cannot always be said for people of a darker skin tone or different background. Unfortunately, many black and Hispanic parents have to have this difficult conversation with their children because they understand it could be the difference between life and death.

Racial profiling is considered illegal in America, and rightly so. Therefore, if you are pulled over for a DUI based on your race, the evidence against you should be inadmissible. Unfortunately, in practice, the illegality of racial profiling does not always mean that it will not happen.

Yet, black and Hispanic drivers across America are pulled over at rates much higher than white drivers, even though they are comparatively no more prone to illegal behavior. In the Stanford University Open Policing Project, the data showed that not only were black Americans more likely to be stopped than white Americans, but they were also more likely to be searched, ticketed, and arrested.

Racial Profiling in DUI Stops is Dangerous

The nature of driving impaired is inherently dangerous and can end in injury or death. Race does not discriminate in that respect. But when a routine traffic stop ends in the shooting and killing of an unarmed, fleeing black man, it is hard to ignore the racial implications. Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, was recently killed in what started as a DUI confrontation. This incident highlighted the disproportionate amount of force used against minorities in traffic stops. It also mirrors the disproportionate incidence of traffic stops, particularly DUI, against black and Hispanic drivers.

There are countless stories of minorities detailing why and how they were stopped by police. Not all end badly, but nearly all are marked by one sentiment: fear. Stopping, detaining, searching or arresting someone based on their race is a violation of the Constitution. Officers must have “reasonable suspicion” that a crime was either committed or that someone is in danger, in order to stop a driver.

If race is the motivating factor behind your stop, it can taint your entire case. If you or someone you know suspects that their arrest for DUI was racially motivated, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Taylor & Taylor are here to help navigate your DUI case.

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61-Year-Old Man Arrested Following Fatal DUI Crash in Santa Barbara

Authorities detained 61-year-old Oscar Pereyra of Santa Barbara following a head-on collision that claimed the innocent life of 31-year-old Michael Kai Lui

On June 5th, 2020, Pereyra was traveling eastbound in a Toyota Tacoma at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Highway 150. Pereyra was driving at an accelerated speed before he lost control of his vehicle. As a result, he crossed the double-yellow line and slammed head-on into a Hyundai Sonata driven by the victim, Lui.

Unfortunately, the collision’s impact was fatal. Pereyra’s Toyota overturned and smashed its front end into the Hyundai, crushing the other vehicle. When first responders arrived at the scene, they assisted Pereyra who had to be extricated from the wreckage. He sustained severe yet treatable injuries and was transported to a local hospital to receive medical attention. 

However, the injuries Lui sustained from the crash were critical, and he sadly passed at the scene.

Although it was wet and foggy at the time of the crash, authorities concluded upon investigation that Pereyra’s impaired driving was the primary cause of this tragedy.

The investigation is ongoing.

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DUI Offender Pleads Not Guilty to DUI-Related Criminal Charges 

On May 6th, Javan Draper of Pomona was arrested for a fatal crash that occurred nearly three months prior. The accident led to the sudden death of one of his two young passengers, Anthony Tucker Jr. 

Last Thursday, Draper pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, driving under the influence causing injury within 10 years of another DUI conviction, and driving with an illegal blood-alcohol content. Murder charges can occur when a DUI accident claims the life of another person; however, it is not considered a separate murder charge. Instead, it is categorized as a second-degree murder charge.

The Accident Leading to the DUI Charges

The original accident occurred on February 18th in Pomona, California at approximately 2 a.m. 

Investigation determined that Draper was driving southbound at a dangerously high speed in a black Chrysler with two passengers when he lost control of his vehicle and collided with a concrete center median. The collision caused Draper’s vehicle to roll over before smashing into a large palm tree. 

As a result of the impact, Draper and one of his passengers remained trapped inside of the car, while 23-year-old Anthony Tucker Jr. got ejected. Emergency personnel determined that Tucker’s injuries were fatal and pronounced him dead at the scene. 

Draper and the other surviving passenger were treated at a nearby hospital for their severe injuries. 

From the subsequent investigation, the police determined that Draper’s intoxication, caused by a mixture of illegal drugs and alcohol, was the cause of the fatal collision.

Bail Set at $2 Million

According to records, Draper is being held at Twin Towers Correctional Facility with his bail set at over $2 million. 

Draper faces one of the most serious DUI charges possible, which is why he will need representation that is well-versed in difficult cases such as this. The case needs to be handled in a meticulous and thorough manner, while respecting both the victim and the defendant.

If you or someone you know are in need of professional DUI defense, seek the assistance of experienced attorneys who strive to provide the best outcome.  

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