DUI driver crashes into fire hydrant in SLO, attempts to flee

June 15, 2022


An allegedly intoxicated driver crashed into a fire hydrant in San Luis Obispo Tuesday night and drove off, prior to being caught.

The driver hit a fire hydrant near the intersection of Ella Street and Johnson Avenue at about 9:30 p.m., causing water to gush into the air and onto a sidewalk and street. Shortly afterwards, the suspect again drove through the intersection of Ella Street and Johnson Avenue, where a patrol officer stopped the vehicle, according to police.

Officers arrested Deborah Byrdyoung for DUI and booked her in the SLO County Jail with her bail set at $5,000, according to the sheriff’s website.

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The amount of damage caused by the driver, insured or not, is not necessarily the issue. That is, unless the driver has zero assets, in which case they are probably not insured anyway.

The driver is responsible for all damages, regardless of what the driver’s insurance will cover.

Either you, or your homeowner’s carrier, or both, file for total cost of damages, in court. The judgement may involve seizure of all that driver’s assets, present, and perhaps future.

The belief that one can only get what the offending person is insured for is incorrect. The insurance is to protect the guilty, not the you. You can recover, provided the person has assets to cover the damages, all amounts expended, including court and legal costs.

I know that California requires a only a minimum of $5,000.00 of coverage for property damage but I wonder if the coverage is void when the damage occurs while under the influence? I learned that $ amount when a rental car T-boned another car then crashed through a wall I owned, there was not enough money to replace the vehicle and the wall, so a patch was all that company funded.

Your homeowner insurance should have paid for it if it was not covered by the driver’s company, and then your insurance company would have gone after the driver’s company. I do not believe the coverage is void due to a DUI (DUIs cause a lot of these kinds of accidents). It just makes the driver’s rates skyrocket!