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What Alcohol Does to Make Drivers More Dangerous

By Renee Nordstrand on April 20, 2024

An alcoholic drink, a car key and a judges gavel on a table.

The alarming reality is that alcohol consumption significantly hinders a driver’s capacity to react swiftly to changing road conditions, and no intoxicated person should ever get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

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What’s Worse: Driving Drowsy or Driving Drunk?

By Renee Nordstrand on February 12, 2019

driver with one hand on the steering wheel

We have all seen “Don’t Drink and Drive” messaging throughout our lives. However, you probably haven’t seen commercials or had police officers come to your school to warn you about the dangers of driving while sleepy.

Research has shown that driving drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Before people get behind the wheel in Santa Barbara, they should be well-rested and sober, or they risk causing serious car accidents with catastrophic injuries.

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Wine-Tasting Tourists: A Danger on the Road?

By Renee Nordstrand on March 10, 2018

person pouring wine into a wine glass at a park

The area around Santa Barbara offers some of the most beautiful wine-tasting scenery in the country, so it is no surprise that people flock here for a fun day out.

When wine-tasters fail to act reasonably when getting behind the wheel, it can be a recipe for disaster. If you get into an accident with an inebriated wine-taster, you may be wondering what action you can take against him or her. While that depends on the specific details of the situation, there are a few general things you should know.

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Hit by a Drunk Driver and Injured? Now What?

By Renee Nordstrand on September 25, 2017

car key laying next to alcohol and a rose

Seek immediate medical care for any injuries you suffer.

When you feel new symptoms that you might not have realized immediately after the collision, return to a medical provider to be sure your symptoms are noted and treated.

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California High Court Ruling Assigns Liability to Hosts in Liquor Cases Involving Underage Minors

By Renee Nordstrand on February 28, 2014

car keys sitting next to an alcoholic drink

The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously this week that hosts who charge admission to parties may be held legally responsible if a drunken underage guest is hurt or injures someone else. The cover charge amounts to a sale of alcohol and state law creates liability for those who sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated minors. The court erred on the side of permitting liability in order to provide a strong deterrent against the provision of alcohol to minors. This ruling could open the way for lawsuits against minors as long as cover charges were involved.

In the 1970s, the California Supreme Court made social hosts who serve alcohol to intoxicated guests legally liable for their harmful behavior. The Legislature responded by creating immunity for hosts, but later carved out an exception for individuals who sell alcohol, whether or not they are licensed. The Legislature has further expanded liability, making parents, guardians and “any adult: responsible if they knowingly serve alcohol at their homes to minors.” That law affects only adult hosts.

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Santa Barbara Officials Offer Stern Warning Before Labor Day Weekend

By Renee Nordstrand on August 29, 2013

Local law enforcement officials gathered outside the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department recently to warn the public about the dangers of drinking and driving.

With the Labor Day weekend just around the corner, the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in full swing. The Labor Day weekend has been designated as one of the four most dangerous driving times of the year based on collision and traffic numbers. NHTSA has given local law enforcement agencies a $130,000 grant to step up patrols, conduct warrant sweeps, and set up drunk driving checkpoints.

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Understanding the Dangers of Drunk Drivers

By Renee Nordstrand on July 25, 2013

A recent drunk driving-caused five-vehicle pileup on Highway 101 near El Sueno Road that sent four people to the hospital highlights the serious dangers brought to the roads of California by drunk drivers every year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 30 people die in car crashes caused by drunk driving every day in the United States. Despite continued crackdowns by police through patrols and DUI checkpoints, drunk driving remains a grave danger on the road.

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Santa Barbara Law Enforcement Officials React to Proposed Lowering of DUI Threshold

By Renee Nordstrand on June 6, 2013

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released a report in which it advocated that the nationwide threshold for blood-alcohol content (BAC) be lowered from 0.08 to 0.05.

The report pointed out that the U.S. is lagging behind other nations in the European Union that have already adopted the lower BAC.  While overall DUI (driving under the influence) deaths in the United States have dropped substantially over the past several decades, the percentage of alcohol-related accident deaths compared to overall accident fatalities has remained fairly constant at about one-third — about 10,000 deaths a year.

A spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police told that he had no doubt that a lowered nationwide BAC would have the desired impact that it seeks. He said that Santa Barbara police take DUI enforcement very seriously and noted that there had been 39 DUI arrests in April and 49 in March.

A captain with the Lompoc Police stated that although his department has no official stance on the proposed change, “We’re not in favor of anybody driving impaired at any level.”

“Mothers Against Drunk Driving appreciates the National Transportation Safety Board for bringing the American public’s attention to the fact that drinking and driving continues to be a major problem on our highways,” the non-profit advocacy group said in a statement.

There are still too many injuries and fatalities caused by impaired drivers in the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles areas. If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one due to an impaired driver, the automobile accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand can help you seek the justice you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, funeral costs and other damages

If you’ve been the victim of a negligent motorist, call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530 for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

Reseda Woman Dies after Suspected Drunk Driver Hits Parked Cars

By Renee Nordstrand on January 7, 2013

The wrongful death automobile accident attorneys at the Law Office of Renee J. Nordstrand have learned that a suspected drunk driver lost control of his car in Reseda on New Year’s Eve and hit a row of parked cars, pinning a 56-year-old woman between two of the cars.

The accident occurred on Reseda Boulevard in the early evening. According to Los Angeles Police, a vehicle driven by a 22-year-old man was heading northbound near Saticoy Street when he veered across the roadway, smashing into two parked cars on the west side of the street.

The victim, who had been loading items into the trunk of her Mini Cooper, was pinned between her car and another vehicle and sustained severe leg injuries. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died of her injuries the next day.

The driver was arrested and jailed on suspicion of felony drunk driving. Bond was set at $100,000 and a Los Angeles Police spokeswoman stated that charges against the driver would be amended in wake of the woman’s death.

The wrongful death of a loved one due to the negligent actions of another leaves surviving family members devastated and needing answers. The attorneys at the Law Office of Renée J. Nordstrand can provide the answers you may have about your legal options following the tragic loss of a family member. Although no amount of money can bring back a loved one, if we accept your wrongful death case, we will aggressively pursue your legal rights to see that justice is served for your family and that your family receives the compensation that they are entitled to for their loss.

Contact our Southern California Offices in Santa Barbara (805) 962-2022 or in Encino (818) 981-3530 for a free, no-obligation review of your case today. We’re here to help during a difficult time.

DUI Hit and Run Kills San Diego Man

By Renee Nordstrand on April 16, 2010

27-year-old Oscar Lopez was killed Sunday night after being hit by a drunken driver on the Interstate 5, the San Diego Tribune reports.  Lopez was sleeping in the back seat of while his wife, Angela Lopez, drove their 2004 Ford Explorer, when 43 year old William Romero struck the Lopez’ car after drifting into their lane.

Oscar Lopez was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. The Lopez’ son, Oscar Jr., was also ejected from the back seat of the vehicle but sustained only minor injuries.  Angela Lopez and a front seat passenger Ashley Lopez, Oscar’s sister, were uninjured.

Romero, who was driving while intoxicated, fled the scene of the accident and was later caught by authorities and arrested.  He is being held on bail with felony charges of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter.

If you have been forced to cope with sudden and wrongful death of a loved one due to a drunken driver’s negligence, please contact a wrongful death attorney today for a free consultation and to learn more about how Los Angeles and Santa Barbara wrongful death attorneys will competently and aggressively obtain compensation for funeral expenses and pain and suffering after your loss.