Plenty of documentation exists regarding the diminished capacity of impaired drivers. Drivers that get behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol often become disoriented and have little to no reaction time in the event of an emergency on the road. These factors increase the probability of an auto accident when a driver is drunk.
The California Highway Patrol believes alcohol played a part in a crash that took place on Dec. 26. Officers initially received a call regarding a driver traveling westbound on Highway 60 in the eastbound lanes. The driver then entered the southbound lanes of Interstate 215 heading north. It was then she encountered another vehicle at speeds of more than 65 mph.
The driver of the other vehicle was not able to avoid the drunk driver's vehicle. The resulting collision killed him, and authorities pronounced him dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle traveling the wrong way suffered injuries described as major while her passenger's injuries were considered moderate. The California Highway Patrol reports that emergency personnel had to extricate the women from the vehicle before they could be taken to an area hospital.
No information regarding possible criminal charges against the wrong-way driver was reported. However, if it turns out she was impaired at the time of the auto accident, criminal charges are that much more likely. Any information from criminal proceedings, including a conviction, could prove useful to the family of the deceased driver and the injured passenger in civil actions related to the crash. A conviction secured by prosecutors could be used to prove negligence in civil proceedings increasing the possibility of an award for damages.
Source: blog.pe.com, RIVERSIDE: Drunk wrong-way driver killed motorist, CHP says (UPDATE 2), Peter Surowski, Dec. 26, 2013