Saturday, July 14, 2007

California DUI with Injury - what does the State have to prove?

California DUI Lawyer - jury instruction

California DUI Causing Injury

DUI - Driving Under the Influence Causing Injury (Veh.
Code, § 23153(a))

The defendant is charged with causing injury to
another person while driving under the influence of (an alcoholic
beverage/ [or] a drug) [or under the combined influence of an
alcoholic beverage and a drug] [in violation of Vehicle Code
section 23153(a)].

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:

1. The defendant drove a vehicle;
2. When (he/she) drove, the defendant was under the influence
of (an alcoholic beverage/ [or] a drug) [or under the
combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug];
3. While driving under the influence, the defendant also
(committed an illegal act/ [or] neglected to perform a legal
duty);
AND
4. The defendant’s (illegal act/ [or] failure to perform a legal
duty) caused bodily injury to another person.

A person is under the influence if, as a result of (drinking [or
consuming] an alcoholic beverage/ [and/or] taking a drug), his or
her mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is
no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober
person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances.
[An alcoholic beverage is a liquid or solid material intended to be
consumed that contains ethanol. Ethanol is also known as ethyl
alcohol, drinking alcohol, or alcohol. [An alcoholic beverage
includes 125
§ 109 or Bus. & Prof. Code, § 23004, e.g., wine, beer>.]]
[A drug is a substance or combination of substances, other than
alcohol, that could so affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles
of a person that it would appreciably impair his or her ability to
drive as an ordinarily cautious person, in full possession of his or
her faculties and using reasonable care, would drive under similar
circumstances.]
[If the People have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the
defendant’s blood alcohol level was 0.08 percent or more at the
time of the chemical analysis, you may, but are not required to,
conclude that the defendant was under the influence of an
alcoholic beverage at the time of the alleged offense.]
[In evaluating any test results in this case, you may consider
whether or not the person administering the test or the agency
maintaining the testing device followed the regulations of the
California Department of Health Services.]
[The People allege that the defendant committed the following
illegal act[s]: .
To decide whether the defendant committed name[s] of offense[s]>, please refer to the separate instructions that
I (will give/have given) you on (that/those) crime[s].]
[The People [also] allege that the defendant failed to perform the
following legal (duty/duties) while driving the vehicle: (the duty to
exercise ordinary care at all times and to maintain proper control
of the vehicle/ ).]
[You may not find the defendant guilty unless all of you agree that
the People have proved that the defendant (committed [at least]
one illegal act/[or] failed to perform [at least] one duty).
;
[You must all agree on which (act the defendant committed/ [or]
duty the defendant failed to perform).]

[But you do not have to all agree on which (act the defendant
committed/ [or] duty the defendant failed to perform).]]
[Using ordinary care means using reasonable care to prevent
reasonably foreseeable harm to someone else. A person fails to
exercise ordinary care if he or she (does something that a
reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation/ [or]
fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in
the same situation).]
[An act causes bodily injury to another person if the injury is the
direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act and the injury
would not have happened without the act. A natural and probable
consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely
to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a
consequence is natural and probable, consider all the
circumstances established by the evidence.]
[There may be more than one cause of injury. An act causes bodily
injury to another person only if it is a substantial factor in causing
the injury. A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote
factor. However, it need not be the only factor that causes the
injury.]
[It is not a defense that the defendant was legally entitled to use
the drug.]
[If the defendant was under the influence of (an alcoholic
beverage/ [and/or] a drug), then it is not a defense that something
else also impaired (his/her) ability to drive.]

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