The California Highway Patrol believe that a motorcyclist who lost control of his machine and crashed on the night of July 18 was likely under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. However, initial accounts of the incident do not reveal what may have led CHP officers to come to this conclusion or whether the unnamed man has submitted to any toxicology tests. The accident claimed the life of a 39-year-old firefighter who was a passenger on the motorcycle.

The accident took place on Piping Rock Lane near El Cajon at approximately 9:30 p.m. According to a CHP report, the motorcyclist and his passenger were ejected after he struck a parked vehicle. Neither of the men on the motorcycle were wearing a helmet. They were both transported to a nearby trauma center with serious injuries. The firefighter was pronounced dead about an hour later.

The accident marks the second time in less than a month that a motorcyclist in has been killed in an accident linked to drug or alcohol use. On July 3, a 28-year-old Encinitas man died when his Suzuki motorcycle struck a Honda sedan that had been involved in an accident on Interstate 5 near Via De La Valle in Del Mar. One of the motorists involved was taken into custody at the scene on suspicion of DUI.

When a suspected drunk driver is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accidents, police may seek a search warrant to obtain a blood sample to support DUI charges. While blood test results are generally considered highly reliable, they may sometimes be challenged. In such situations, experienced criminal defense attorneys could examine the chain of custody carefully, and they may seek to have blood evidence excluded when the samples used to obtain it could have been mishandled.