Does the court assume a direct correlation between a DUI >.08 and an accident during the driving of the intoxicated person?

Asked 8 months ago - Oakland, CA

To my understanding, there is room to argue that the accident wasn't caused by the alcohol even if the person were drunk. If there is no evidence that suggests an other item caused the accident, is it automatically assumed that the drunk driving caused the accident and resulting injury of second party?

Additional information

This is a one car accident. Party injured is a passenger.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Anthony Allen Roach

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . A blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more within 3 hours of the accident allows the prosecutor to use a jury instruction that creates a presumption that you were under the influence.

    DISCLAIMER The materials appearing on this website are provided for informational use only, and are in no way... more
  2. George Ellis Corson IV

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Yes. If you are drunk and you have a single vehicle accident, it is inferred that the drunk driver failed to prevent his vehicle from hitting a stationary object. I have yet to see an Oak Tree charged as a Co-Defendant.

    I represent Employers, but I can recommend Worker Attorneys in So Cal if you ask.
  3. Joseph Briscoe Dane

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . In California, there is a presumption of intoxication at that magic 0.08% blood alcohol level.

    In looking at the comments to some of the other answers, I'm not clear on whether they have a valid blood alcohol level on you or not. The validity of a test taken outside of 3 hours from the driving is questionable. If the testing was done some time after the driving, the prosecution must rely on backwards calculations as to what the driver's alcohol level "must have" been. It's subject to attack, since there is not a 100% calculation they can rely on.

    Your question is a good one, but it's one that is only going to be answered accurately by an attorney who has access to the entire case - all the reports and statements, the chemical testing (including calibration and maintenance records of the equipment used). Having said that, any measurable amount of alcohol and a collision with injuries to another party (including a passenger in your own vehicle) is problematic.

    Time for a lawyer if you don't already have one.

    The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact... more
  4. Joseph Jonathan Brophy

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . If you were operating a car under the unfluence and crashed it, you would have a pretty hard time convincing anybody that the alcohol had nothing to do with the crash. I suppose there could be circumstances where a crash was not caused by drinking- for example if the car was parked and the hypothetical oak tree fell on it.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Bottom line is retain a local DUI lawyer to defend the charges, and stay off the sauce while driving.

  6. Sreenivasarao Vepachedu

    Contributor Level 14

    13

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    Answered . Consult with an attorney.

    This is not a legal advice or solicitation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with an... more
  7. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    10

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    Answered . There is a presumption that you were driving under the influence. Look at the charge and see what it says. Hire a criminal lawyer to defend you if you believe you have a winning argument. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de... more
  8. David Ian Schoen

    Contributor Level 20

    9

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    Answered . Since this was a one car accident, most likely. However, in answer to the first part of your question no. For example, if a drunk driver was sitting at a red light and was rear ended, the fact that he was drunk would be meaningless.

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