A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has plead guilty in connection with a DUI motorcycle accident that occurred in July 2011.
According to a report in The Orange County Register, 38-year-old Richard Patterson of West Covina plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol 0.08 percent or more causing injury. Patterson received a sentence of 45 days in jail, three years probation, nine months in an alcohol rehabilitation probation and completion of a Mother's Against Drunk Driving Victim's Impact Panel, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
Patterson and his wife were reportedly riding on his motorcycle when he rear-ended another vehicle on the 405 freeway near Brookhurst Street in Fountain Valley. The passengers in the car were unhurt but Patterson and his wife were hospitalized for hip and knee injuries as well as multiple abrasions. According to police reports, Patterson's blood alcohol content was 0.15% two hours after the accident, nearly twice California's legal limit. He was off-duty at the time the collision occurred.
Patterson initially faced multiple felony counts in connection with the accident and if convicted, could have served up to three years in jail. He was originally charged with driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher causing injury. Prosecutors also sought a sentencing enhancement for his elevated blood alcohol level.
Patterson agreed to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge after negotiating a deal with prosecutors. Had he seriously injured or killed the passengers of the other vehicle, he may have received a much stiff sentence. In addition, he may have faced civil penalties if the injured parties decided to seek a lawsuit against him.
While the only persons injured were the deputy and his wife, this incident demonstrates how alcohol can be a significant contributing factor in causing an accident. A drunk driver can cause an accident at any time, changing the lives of their victims irrevocably.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle accident or car accident caused by a drunk or otherwise negligent driver, you need to understand how to protect your legal rights. Your first priority should be contacting a qualified personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim.
The motorcycle accident injury team at Nadrich & Cohen LLP is available to assist motorcycle accident victims in the Los Angeles area and throughout California get the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call our Injury Hotline today at 1-800-718-4658 to schedule your free initial case evaluation. We are a contingency firm, meaning there is never a fee unless we recover a monetary judgment on your behalf.
The Nadrich & Cohen personal injury blogs are sponsored by Nadrich & Cohen, LLC. This blog features news stories, personal cases and analysis of current events, all of which are intended for illustrative purposes only. Each case is different, and legal authority is constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, nothing on this site should be viewed as a guarantee or prediction of a similar future outcome. The information on this site should not be treated as authoritative, and readers should always consult with legal counsel before making any important legal decisions. Lastly, Nadrich & Cohen, LLC is not responsible for any comments contributed by visitors to this website.