San Francisco, CA- A former San Francisco firefighter was in court this week to answer charges related to the hit-and-run DUI accident last summer that left a motorcyclist with serious injuries.
Michael Quinn, a 23 year veteran of the San Francisco fire department was taken into police custody after a grand jury indicted him on three counts.
“The first count is driving under the influence, causing injury,” said San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesman Alex Bastian told KTVU. “The second count is driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, causing injury. And the third count is driving a commercial vehicle with a .04 or higher, causing injury.”
On the night of June 28th, 2013, Quinn was responding to a call which later turned out to be a false alarm when he struck a motorcyclist at Fifth and Howards Street and left the scene after half an hour. The motorcyclist was thrown into a fire hydrant and suffered serious injuries.
After the accident, Quinn went a bar in the vicinity of the crash, which occurred at 11:30 p.m., and drank several glasses of water. He waited a few hours to return to the scene of the accident according to investigators. His blood alcohol level was .13, almost twice the legal limit, hours after the crash.
The man riding the motorcycle, Jack Frazier of Daly City, suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung. According to KTVU, Frazier is suing Quinn and the City of San Francisco for his injuries.
Frazier’s family was pleased about the three charges Quinn is facing but was disappointed that he was not charged with hit-and-run. Under California law, hit-and-runs involving injury are considered felonies and carry a jail term of 6 months up to three years depending on the severity of the injuries the suspected driver causes.
Five top ranking officials for the San Francisco Fire Department are under investigation for allegedly helping Quinn evade responsibility for the DUI accident. Those firefighters all faced temporary suspensions but have not been indicted by the grand jury.
If convicted of the three charges, Quinn could face up to three years in jail. He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond and will be arraigned April 24th.
Hit-and-runs a major issue in California prompting lawmakers to propose bills that would impose mandatory jail sentences on drivers who leave the scene of an accident. Intoxicated driving is one of the primary reasons motorists leave the scene of an accident. Not having a driver’s license or insurance are also common reasons drivers flee accident scenes.
Fighting a DUI charge is difficult enough and requires a very knowledgeable DUI attorney. It’s especially important to have a strong defense when facing DUI-injury charges. One of more DUI charges can have serious implications for a person, and affects every aspect of a person’s life from the personal to the professional. It’s also wise for the charged individual to enlist the help of a DUI attorney to help them navigate the courts.