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INVENTING ANNA

When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Los Angeles DUI Fatal Collisions

Los Angeles DUI Fatal Collisions

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Los Angeles that far too often ends in tragedy. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at DUI fatal collisions in LA – the laws, the trends, and most importantly, the human impact.

Let’s start with some background. California has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%, and you can be arrested for DUI even below that if officers determine you are impaired. Penalties get harsher with each offense, and a DUI causing injury or death can lead to decades in prison.

Sobering Statistics

Over the past decade, Los Angeles has averaged around 100 DUI fatalities per year. Each of these represents a life tragically cut short – as well as countless family and friends left to grieve. According to California Highway Patrol data, some troubling trends have emerged:

  • Most DUI crashes occur late at night or early morning, when drunk drivers are leaving bars and parties.
  • Over half of those killed in DUI wrecks are under age 30.
  • Nearly 70% of DUI drivers in fatal crashes are found to have a BAC of 0.15% or higher – almost twice the legal limit.

These statistics should serve as a wake-up call. DUI is 100% preventable – all it takes is a sober driver. A few hours of drinking can end up costing an innocent life.

Heartbreaking Stories

Behind every DUI fatality statistic is a story of unspeakable loss. Here are just a few of the heartbreaking cases from recent years:

The Salazar Family

In March 2018, the Salazar family was driving home from a trip to Disneyland when their minivan was struck head-on by a truck driving the wrong way on the 15 Freeway. The drunk driver was going 70 mph. Tragically, the father Francisco was killed, while mother Christine and their three young children were seriously injured. “My dad was everything to us,” said daughter Alexis, who was 10 years old at the time.

Veronica Gonzalez

In December 2020, Veronica Gonzalez was walking in a marked crosswalk when she was fatally struck by a drunk driver. Veronica, age 24, was a college student who dreamed of becoming an engineer. “She had so many plans, so many dreams,” lamented her heartbroken mother. The driver was arrested for DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

LAPD Officer Heather Monroe

In June 2019, off-duty LAPD officer Heather Monroe was driving home when her car was slammed into by a drunk driver going 90 mph. The other driver had a BAC of 0.19% and was charged with second-degree murder. Monroe was only 24 years old and had been an officer for just over a year. “She had a bright future ahead of her,” said Police Chief Michel Moore. “This is a tragic loss.”

These are just a few examples of the heartbreaking tragedies caused by impaired drivers in LA. The damage done to families and communities is immeasurable.

Legal Consequences

In California, a DUI resulting in injury or death leads to severe criminal charges. Possible penalties include:

  • Second Degree Murder – 15 years to life in prison for extremely negligent driving resulting in a death.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter – Up to 10 years in prison for ordinary negligence causing a death.
  • Gross Vehicular Manslaughter – Up to 10 years for extreme recklessness even without intent to kill.

Even with a plea bargain, drivers often serve substantial prison time followed by probation. They lose their license for at least a year and must complete DUI classes. Victims’ families also frequently file civil lawsuits seeking damages.

Unfortunately, no punishment can undo the damage inflicted by impaired drivers. Lives are forever changed in the blink of an eye.

The Human Toll

Behind the statistics, arrests, and court cases are real people. Sons, daughters. Siblings, parents. Friends and colleagues. Each victim leaves behind grieving loved ones struggling to cope with an overwhelming loss.

For survivors, the trauma lingers – missed milestones, an empty seat at the table, decades of pain and loneliness. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays become bittersweet. Others experience anxiety while driving, afraid to share the road with irresponsible motorists. Many must shoulder crippling medical bills and funeral costs.

Victims’ dreams turn to memories. Children grow up without a father or mother. Reminders everywhere make it impossible to move on. And the reckless driver goes on with life after serving a sentence, while families are sentenced to a lifetime of grief.

Prevention Is Key

The responsibility lies with each of us to stop DUI tragedies before they happen. Here are some tips for keeping our streets safe:

  • Plan ahead – Designate a sober driver, call a cab/rideshare, or take public transit when drinking.
  • Help others – Speak up to prevent friends or family from driving impaired.
  • Be alert – Call 911 if you see a suspected drunk driver.
  • Educate – Spread awareness of DUI dangers, especially among young people.

With ridesharing so readily available, there’s no excuse for driving drunk. A few small actions can save someone’s life.

Honoring the Victims

While no words can ease the anguish of losing a loved one, we can honor their memory by learning from tragedy. By sharing victims’ stories, treating each loss as the senseless, preventable waste it is, we hope to break the cycle of DUI crashes. Those taken from us deserve better.

Next time you go out, make the right choice for yourself and others. For Francisco, Veronica, Heather, and thousands more. Not one more. Their lights shone too bright to be extinguished so soon, and the ripples of their loss touch us all.

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