By Dale Gribow

Many of our Coachella Valley Weekly readers will have partied too hard on New Year’s Eve and been stopped for a possible Drunk Driving……….were you? On the other hand were you the victim of a Drunk Driver who rear ended your car causing you and your passenger’s injuries?

I have sued Drunk Drivers for over 30 years for the injuries they caused to my clients. Often these accidents result in a fatality leading to a filing of Murder 2 or Felony Manslaughter. Such an incident happened to my client Celena Nava who was fatally injured by a drunk driver a few weeks ago while jogging. Prison is the logical answer for that arrest and you do not want to go there as it involves PRISON…..not jail.

On the other hand I have defended those charged with Driving Under the Influence for over 30 years. Thus I am familiar with both sides of the arguments presented by a plaintiff who is injured and a defendant who is charged with a DUI.


The injured plaintiff should immediately seek medical attention by going to the ER or an Urgent Care Center. As a rule of thumb you do not want to see a doctor you have seen before. This is because most doctors do not know how to write medical legal reports. I have lectured to the International College of Surgeon at their yearly seminar on this issue for several years.

There is a big difference between the doctor writing in his medical report “I have seen Mr. Jones and in my opinion there is a 50% chance he will make a full recovery or there is a 50% chance he will NOT make a full recovery”. Which sounds worse?

In addition your family doctor has a list of all your complaints for years and some of those complaints you do not want made public. I have had clients who had preexisting pains from falling in the shower; had an abortion; contracted a venereal disease; asked the doctor for a referral to a psychiatrist or admitted to an alcohol or drug problem etc. You do not want to make it easy for the insurance company to find this information and thus lower their offer to you because in their eyes you will become a less attractive plaintiff to the jury.

Insurance companies will try to find any way to pay you the least amount of money possible. They will use whatever they can find against you including the info above or the information on your social media showing you playing a sport after you have advised the doctor you are hurt and cannot do anything.

On the other hand the driver charged with a Drunk Driving needs to consult with an attorney familiar with this area of law ASAP. The driver has 10 Days from the day of the arrest to request a DMV hearing or the opportunity to have the hearing is gone.

A DUI arrest creates two separate proceedings against the driver. One is DMV that looks to take your license and the other is the court system that looks to put the DUI driver in JAIL.
Both of these proceedings need to be addressed right away by your attorney.

When there is an accident the injured victim’s lawyer may want to have the car examined by an expert; take pictures of the damage or the lawyer may want the client to save the bloody clothes he/she was wearing for a possible court proceeding.

If you were arrested or were the victim of a drunk driving accident, please feel free to call for a free consultation offered to my Coachella Valley Weekly readers. Just mention this column.


Dale Gribow has been “Rated” TOP LAWYER by Palm Springs Life Magazine from 2011-2014 and has a Superb AVVO Legal Rating by his fellow attorneys. Dale Gribow has been Man of the Year 7 times including the City of Palm Desert and the City of Hope and Dale Gribow Day has been declared 4 times. He is the only attorney appointed in December 2013 to the Coachella Valley Association of Government’s Public Safety Ad Hoc Blue Ribbon Committee addressing Drunk Driving. This group consists of the police chiefs from every city and the mayor of each city as well as the Sheriff of Riverside County and the head of the CHP and Border Patrol. In addition Gribow is the only attorney asked to be part of the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Committee addressing Drunk Driving. Gribow is also one of the founders of Shutdown Drunk Driving formed upon the death of his client who was killed by a drunk driver while jogging recently.