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Woman facing DUI charge after chain-reaction crash

The California Highway Patrol claims that a 26-year-old woman was under the influence of either drugs or alcohol when she was involved in a chain-reaction accident in San Jose on Aug. 9. The crash, which took place on State Route 85 near Union Avenue during the height of the afternoon commute, left two road users with serious injuries and caused minor injuries to two CHP officers. The woman faces a count of causing injury while under the influence, but further charges could be added as the police investigation into the incident unfolds.

A CHP report indicates that officers were attending the scene of a collision involving three vehicles on the shoulder of the southbound lanes of Highway 85 at approximately 4:40 p.m. when a green SUV approached at a high rate of speed. Officers claim that the SUV was being driven recklessly at about 70 mph when its driver lost control and struck one of the stationary vehicles. This collision initiated a chain reaction that involved a total of eight vehicles, and police say that they had received a radio warning about a green SUV weaving on and off the shoulder of Highway 85 just moments before the accident.

A motorist who had been speaking with officers at the time of the crash suffered serious injuries after being ejected from her Toyota Solara. She was transported to an area medical facility along with another badly injured road user and two CHP officers who were not seriously hurt.

Impaired motorists in California may face felony drunk driving charges when they cause an accident resulting in serious injuries after violating the state's motor vehicle code, but proving these charges beyond any reasonable doubt is not always straightforward for prosecutors. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to have felony DUI charges reduced when prosecutors lack compelling evidence that a motor vehicle infraction took place, or they could challenge the validity of the breath or blood test results that they rely upon to establish intoxication.

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