Authorities report that a 19-year-old man is facing DUI charges after the vehicle he was operating wrecked and burst into flames during the early morning hours of Dec. 8. There were also two other individuals who were occupants in the vehicle.
According to the report, the incident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. on Eastside Road in unincorporated Sonoma County when a man, who was operating a white-colored Ford Focus, crashed. When law enforcement officials arrived at the scene just outside of Healdsburg nearby Old Redwood Highway, they said the car was in flames.
Police with the California Highway Patrol then took the man into custody for allegedly driving drunk. Following booking procedures, he was placed in Sonoma County Jail. His bail was set near the amount of $100,000. It is not publicly known what the man's blood alcohol content level when the incident occurred.
Being charged with driving under the influence may not only result in a conviction that carries steep fines, a license suspension, probation and incarceration, but it can also leave the defendant with a criminal record that will affect things like his or her employment opportunities and vehicle insurance rates. Potential landlords and credit bureaus will also have access to the person's criminal record, which could result in more negative consequences.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to assist people facing drunk driving charges. In the event that the defendant was involved in a car accident and charged with driving under the influence, the lawyer might bring forth alternative explanations such as driver fatigue, distraction or a vehicle mechanical failure. Legal counsel can also in some cases decide to challenge the field sobriety or breath tests that led to the DUI charge.
Source: Petaluma Patch, "Teen Arrested in Suspicion of DUI after Fiery Crash", Alexander Nguyen, Dec. 8, 2015