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Mother Arrested for DUI After Child Dies in California Crash

arrest scene

A mother was arrested for DUI as a tragic scene unfolded on August 14, 2014 in Ventura County, California, when a Ford Mustang ran off the road and slammed into a tree. Three passengers were taken to the hospital with injuries, including fractures, broken arms, and facial injuries. A fourth passenger, a seven year-old boy, died from his injuries after the crash. At the time of the accident, the there were only four seat belts available for the two adults and three children riding in the vehicle. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers believe the deceased seven year-old did not have a seat belt fastened at the time of when the accident occurred.

As a result of the accident, the vehicle’s operator and mother of the three children, 34 year-old Latoya Najar, was forced to witness her child’s death and the sustained injuries of another child. Police arrested her at the scene, saying she showed signs of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. So far, Najar has been charged with felony DUI, and additional charges expected to follow.

DUI Arrests can be traumatic

Even without losing a loved one in an auto accident, an arrest in itself can be extremely traumatic. Being placed under arrest can be frightening, and officers may seem intimidating and menacing. In the course of undergoing a traffic stop for a suspected DUI, an officer may require that you perform a number of field sobriety tests, as well as chemical tests, such a breathalyzer or blood tests. You may not be fully aware of your rights to refuse to participate in such tests, or you may simply feel afraid to say “no.” Such nerves and other emotions can significantly impede your performance in field sobriety tests, which often leads to an arrest.

Prior to any interrogation following an arrest, an officer is required to inform you of your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to be represented by an attorney during communications with officers. Though most people are familiar with these rights, they are often too afraid to invoke them. This can lead you to unintentionally incriminate yourself by making statements which may then be used against you in later in court proceedings.

The chance that an arrest will present a traumatic experience only increases if you have been involved in an accident, are injured, or believe you have seriously injured others. In such cases, it is imperative that you have an attorney to help you navigate your DUI arrest.

At Beck Law, P.C., our experienced DUI defense attorneys are committed to assisting people facing DUI charges. We assist you from the moment of your arrest through every stage of your case. We will speak to the police on your behalf to ensure you do not accidentally incriminate yourself or subject yourself to unnecessary suspicion.

Photo Credit: southernfried via morgueFile

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