According to reports, the couple went out on a date and had a few drinks. Later that evening, the couple got into their cars to head home when the male driver hit the female driver’s car, sending it crashing into a third car that was parked on a Canyon Country residential street. The male driver initially took off before returning to pick up the female driver, leaving her vehicle behind.
Deputies arriving at the scene of the accident were able to track down the coupe to their home. Upon speaking to the suspects, police noticed a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the couple, as well as “other signs of impairment.” The couple was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and hit-and-run.
There are a number of DUI-related charges on the books in California, with misdemeanor charges being relatively light, and felony charges being much more serious.
Generally speaking, a person can be charged with a felony DUI if another party is injured during a collision or if a driver receives four or more DUI convictions within a 10 year period. When facing a felony DUI, the potential penalties include 16 months to 3 years in California state prison, $390 to $1000 in fines, mandatory IID (ignition interlock device) installation for at least one year (or, if not, then the defendant’s driving privileges will be suspended for as many as four years), and designation as an HTO by the DMV.
Hit-and-run charges are described as fleeing the scene of an accident without first stopping to provide your information. It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, though felony-level charges are typically reserved for defendants involved in a hit-and-run with injury, or someone who has committed the crime repeatedly.