Recently a high-speed crash in Canoga Park, California took the life of young driver Steven Rodriguez, just two weeks after his 21st birthday. Authorities believe than an excessive rate of speed combined with possible alcohol consumption led to the catastrophic accident. Reports from the scene of the car crash state that Steven was driving at such an excessive rate of speed that upon impact with a fire hydrant the car was cut in half and split apart, and the hydrant flew into one of the nearby buildings. According to one witness who spoke to local station KTLA 5, “It was like a giant river of … car parts floating by,” said witness Angel Cerda. “Half of the car was on one side of the street, and the other half was on the other side of the street. The man was still in the car, sitting down, his seatbelt on. … It was a complete mess.”
We are devastated for Steven’s family and loved ones.
Drunk driving on the rise
According to statistics from M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the past two years. Both agencies report an overall increase in California of more than 4% within the last two years. Nationwide vehicular alcohol related deaths have increased on average about 5% as well. Based on population and size, Texas had the highest number of drunk driving deaths with more than 1300 deaths for the previous year, while California came in second with more than 1000 drunk driving deaths for the same time period. Data from the past two years have shown that there have been small incremental increases in states like California, especially in particular age groups including the ages of 20-29.
M.A.D.D. and NHTSA have not given an exact reason as to the cause of the uptake in DUI-related deaths. Possible theories include an increase in liquor license approvals in the state recently giving more restaurants the availability of serving alcohol to patrons in California. Also the price of alcohol has remained low even as food prices have increased, leading to increased demand for the product. California is also one of the few states in the country that allow patrons to purchase alcohol quite easily, in most major supermarkets and convenience stores, even at late night hours.
Drunk driving in California
In California, the blood alcohol level to be considered legally intoxicated is 0.08 BAC. For an average person that can be as little as 2 drinks. If you have been drinking, before you get behind the wheel, it is important to consider other optins, like leaving your car and taking an Uber or Lyft home. While many people believe that even though they have not consumed large quantities of alcohol that they are still able to drive, low levels of alcohol can still cause impairment.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver in Canoga Park or the surrounding area, contact a proven auto accident attorney to discuss your legal rights and potential for financial compensation. Attorney Barry P. Goldberg has more than 30 years experience handling these types of cases and offers free consultations. Contact Barry P. Goldberg today.