Three young women sustained major injuries Sunday in a Yolo County DUI accident. Megan Espinosa was driving west bound on Highway 128 outside Winters at approximately 7:30 p.m. when a vehicle being driven by Fernando Ramirez in the opposite direction crossed the double yellow line and collided with her vehicle. Ms. Espinosa, 19, and passengers Tiffany Canerday, 17, and Michelle Canerday were taken to area hospitals with major injuries. Mr. Ramirez was arrested on felony charges for causing serious injury while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When a DUI accident results in serious bodily injury or death, California law provides for felony charges against the offender. Despite these serious consequences, California Highway Patrol statistics indicate that, in 2008 alone, there were 1,355 fatal collisions caused by drunk drivers. In some circles it remains socially acceptable to drive after drinking as long as you don’t get caught. However, the price that is paid is far too high. Since some people don’t seem to be getting the message, California should do more to prevent DUI related deaths and injuries, including stiffer penalties for all offenders, alcohol treatment programs, ignition locks, and programs like mandatory designated drivers.
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