Driving while under the influence is something many people do without a second thought. Either because they simply grew up thinking this wasn’t a big deal or they’ve formed the belief that they can handle the practice better than others, it’s never a good idea to put your life or that of others at risk after crossing the legal limit.

Unfortunately, drunk driving still happens regularly in the San Diego area. While many are stopped before they can put anyone’s life at risk, this isn’t always the case. Instead, you get examples like Christopher “Chip” Stockmeyer. On March 28th, the 41 year-old engineer and father of two left the Beachside Grill in Encinitas where he had been drinking with coworkers.

He then proceeded to get behind the wheel of his Audi A4 and drive home. Not only was he doing this while intoxicated, but Stockmeyer also took to speeding.

That same evening, Rachel Morrison, an aspiring marine biology student who was working on her Ph.D. at Scripps Institution for Oceanography at UC San Diego was out with a friend. They were crossing the street when Stockmeyer hit her, sending Morrison’s body some 120 feet. Although she was brought to Scripps La Jolla Hospital, she was later declared dead.

Although, Stockmeyer fled the scene, his license plate was left behind, making it simple for police to track him down.

Obviously, there is no excuse for drinking and driving. But adding a hit and run violation will only make things worse, as Stockmeyer found out (his sentence was virtually doubled because of fleeing the scene).

Whenever you find yourself in an accident, be sure to alert the authorities. However, having a personal injury lawyer on speed dial is a good idea too. They can ensure your rights are protected and that you understand the situation in its entirety.