Two California Highway Patrol officers were among four people who were injured by an accused drunk driver on Aug. 9. The multi-vehicle accident took place in San Jose at about 4:40 p.m. when a 26-year-old woman struck vehicles that were parked along the side of southbound Highway 85 after an earlier accident. Following the crash, the woman was taken into custody for suspicion of DUI causing injury.
According to reports, the three cars that had been involved in the earlier accident were all parked on the right shoulder of the highway. The accused drunk driver struck two of the stopped cars while driving 70 mph in a 1998 Ford Explorer. One of the cars that the woman hit collided with another car, sending that car into the path of a truck. The woman then hit a Toyota Solara, and the Toyota hit the two police officers.
The driver of the Toyota sustained major injuries after being ejected from the vehicle. Another driver also sustained major injuries, and the two police officers had minor injuries. The CHP says that they had received reports before the accident about a driver in a green Ford Explorer who was seen driving erratically.
A person may drive erratically and cause an accident for other reasons besides intoxication. If people who are facing DUI charges can prove that they were exhausted or distracted but not intoxicated, they may be able to have their criminal charges reduced. In other cases, an attorney may argue that a field sobriety test taken after an accident is unscientific evidence and that breath test results fell within the margin of error.
Source: KRON 4, "Suspect drunk driver arrested for string of crashes in San Jose," Aug. 11, 2016