Portland Head-On Crash Caused by Drunk Driver Results in Injuries

Date: November 5, 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Names: Ian L. Beyers, Alisha Fuzi

A head-on car crash between two vehicles resulted in one of the drivers being airlifted to the hospital, and the other criminally charged in the accident. An investigation by the Marion County Traffic Safety Team resulted in Ian L. Beyers, 18, being charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), reckless driving, and assault.

The investigation resulted in a finding that Beyers, of Canby, was heading south in his 1994 Jeep Cherokee when he lost control of his vehicle as it started up an incline on the gravel road. He crossed into the northbound lane and crashed head-on into a 1996 Nissan Sentra being driven by Alisha Fuzi, 23, of Newburg. Ms. Fuzi was airlifted by helicopter to Portland’s Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. Fortunately, it appeared that her injuries were lessened because she was wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact and the driver’s airbag had deployed. The hospital did not release an official report of her condition.

We certainly wish Ms. Fuzi a full and speedy recovery. Beyers and his passenger were not injured.

In the wake of a tragedy like this, each person must deal with it in whatever way works best for them. We would never try to talk someone into taking legal action. It is an individual decision that can only be made by the family. When a drunk driver causes an injury car accident in Oregon, there is a possibility of suing the person or bar who served the alcohol. This must be done correctly, and quickly. There are strict time limits for filing a lawsuit in Oregon, and where alcohol is involved, the limits get even stricter. A Dram Shop Notice must be received by the server within 180 days of the incident, pursuant to ORS 471.565.

Why sue a bar for serving a person alcohol? Well, the bar must have done something. Bars are regulated strictly by the OLCC, and if they serve to minors, or serve to a person who was visibly intoxicated, they have violated regulations and they should be held responsible for that. But the rules only work if the bartenders are well-trained and supported. If anyone is at fault, it’s not going to be the clerks and bartenders – it’s going to be the owner. If an investigation finds that the owner of the bar did not train the bartenders properly, hired the cheapest people and then underpaid them, routinely told the bartenders to serve as much as possible to increase profits, faked bartender’s OLCC licensing tests, and routinely served minors, then a lawsuit could prevent another similar accident in the future. If there were honest, well-trained, hardworking bartenders and clerks who made a single honest mistake, then a lawsuit would do no good. But, the family at least gets to rest easy knowing that they investigated, and found out the truth of the matter.

We encourage people to educate themselves on the law of drunk driving in Oregon, and we provide free information to help you settle your lawsuit without an attorney. But when a drunk driver is involved, the law becomes very tricky, and you should contact an experienced Oregon injury attorney.

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