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Crash

Christine Dahab, Drunk Driver Who Plowed Through Group of 'Midnight Ridazz,' Gets off With Misdemeanor

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Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM
click to enlarge A witness photo from the scene. - FACEBOOK VIA LA STREETSBLOG

One thing we've learned from living in L.A.: Don't mess with bikers. (We don't mean biker bikers -- we know those greasy, ear-splitting "fags" are really just big softies beneath all that passive-aggressive lane changing.) No, we're talking cyclists: Critical Mass, known by night as the Midnight Ridazz. Sometimes naked, always pumped.

They may be outnumbered by soccer moms in minivans (or, in this case, drunk chicks in sedans), but L.A. cyclists make their presence known. We've never seen a group of lobbyists win over the City Council as completely they did back in March, securing 1,680 miles of new bike lanes by about 2020.

Now, they're telling 27-year-old DUI convict Christine Dahab:

You plowed through the wrong group of Ridazz.

The cyclists were on the return trip of their weekly Koreatown Wednesday excursion when the crash occurred around 2 a.m. A few had stopped at the corner of West Jefferson and Rodeo Road in Culver City to wait for laggers -- when Dahab "crashed into the group at about 60 miles per hour," according to City News Service.

From witness descriptions of the crash, it's pretty miraculous she didn't kill anybody.

"We were waiting for everyone to make their way down from Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook as this shit happened," one person wrote on the Midnight Ridazz forum. "I saw a car speeding towards us and thought doesn't the driver see us, NO.... Drunk bitch took out the whole ride. some of us got out of the way just in time but many took the brunt force of the hit."

After Dahab underwent alcohol and drug testing at the LAPD station, she was booked for a misdemeanor DUI and quickly posted $15,000 bail.

Since then, the case has been deferred to Culver City police, as the crash technically occurred in their district. City News reports that so far, no charges have been filed against her.

"The LAPD said the primary cause of the accident was pedestrians standing next to their bikes,'' said Alex Thompson, of cycling group Bikeside L.A., at a demonstration outside City Hall today. Activists are asking that she be charged with six counts of felony DUI.

Here's some additional followup from Thompson's Bikeside L.A. blog:

• Dahab blew .08 in an initial test, and later blew a .07 at the station.

• Dahab, according to LAPD, has pristine driving record

• Witnesses have said that Dahab tried to run. Captain Mulldorfer said that the collision did not qualify as a hit and run, and that Dahab indicated she drove some distance from the collision because she felt "the crowd was hostile." Makes sense, they had every right to be hostile.

Of 11 cyclists who rushed to the hospital that night, one broke both legs, and one remains hospitalized. Thank god there were no deaths. But it's crazy how much difference a fatality can make in a drunk driver's ultimate punishment.

Also via Bikeside, a witness testimony:

We've contacted Culver City police for comment.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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