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Drunk Driver Injures San Diego Police Officer

Craig McClellan

When most people hear the phrase, "officer killed in the line of duty," they think of police officers who were killed by criminals. Yet, while the majority of police officer deaths are caused by felonious acts, a large percentage -- 42 percent in 2011 -- are caused by auto accidents. And many more officers are injured in car crashes every year.

Recently, a San Diego Police Department Officer was injured when an alleged drunk driver ran a red light and broadsided his patrol car. The officer suffered multiple internal injuries and broken bones. If convicted, the drunk driver, whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured at .22 percent, will face six years in prison. He will also face a personal injury lawsuit for the injuries he caused by his decision to drink and drive.

Police Officers Injured in Car Accidents

Police officers put their lives on the line every day. Ironically, what may appear to be one of the most mundane tasks -- highway / road patrol -- is also one of the most dangerous tasks. This is especially true when police officers must park or stand alongside a highway while checking for drunk drivers, speeders and other traffic law violators.

There are precautions in place to protect the police officers, such as flashing lights on police cars, but distracted and drunk drivers -- and even normally attentive drivers -- can miss those precautions and run into police cars or officers.

When police officers are injured, they may recover compensation for their injuries through workers' compensation and personal injury lawsuits. They, perhaps more so than the rest of us, have good reason to hold drunk drivers and other reckless and negligent drivers accountable for their actions.

Source:, " Man Accused of Drunk Driving in Crash With SDPD Car Pleads Not Guilty," Steve Price, Jan. 7, 2013