Allegedly, a 29-year-old man from Richmond was driving while under the influence of alcohol when he failed to notice the large fire truck right in front of him. The man supposedly crashed into the fire truck, which was in the slow lane because it was parked there for fire fighters to attend to the scene of another wreck on the freeway. California Highway Patrol officers were also on the scene and were able to immediately respond when the Richmond man slammed into the stationary fire truck. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI, after receiving treatment for his injuries.
A DUI conviction in California is a serious matter indeed. Of course, you should never drive while intoxicated, which, as defined by law, is having a BAC, or blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. However, DUIs are, in California, what are known as ‘priorable’ offenses, meaning that for a 10-year ‘lookback’ period, prior offenses can be taken into account in court (CA Vehicle Code 23152).
A first offense DUI is likely to end in a 30-day suspension of your driver’s license, a $1,000 fine, and anywhere from 4 days to 6 months in jail. However, a second offense may mean up to 1 year in prison, a 2-year license suspension, and an $1,800 fine. The penalties for a third offense include up to 1 year in jail, an $1,8000 fine, and a 3-year license suspension.
Most importantly, when the Richmond man hit the fire truck, one of the firemen was seated in the driver’s seat. He was injured, although not badly. This may trigger a felony-level DUI, considering that when any personal injury is involved, the crime becomes more serious. This is what is known as an enhanced penalty; other enhanced penalties include speeding or reckless driving, child endangerment, and having a high blood alcohol concentration.