DUI Driver Attempts to Bribe Officer After Crash

A Utah woman is facing charges of bribery following a crash on June 10, 2020, on I-80 near 1300 East in Salt Lake City. According to KSL News, the woman, Cyma Roxann Haghighat was arrested after the wreck when she blew a .26 into the Breathalyzer. This is five times Utah’s new legal limit of .05%. At the point she was being arrested, she offered the arresting UHP officer $1,000 to let her go. She also told him that she would “do anything not to go to jail,” according to charges recently filed against her.

As if DUI charges weren’t enough, she was charged in 3rd District Court with bribery (a third-degree felony), status as an alcohol-restricted driver, operating a car without an interlock device, no insurance, driving on a suspended license. This is not her first DUI charge, as she was charged with DUI and marijuana possession in another incident on January 16, 2020.

Moral of the Story: Carry Insurance! The moral of this story is the importance of carrying enough insurance to protect against uninsured drivers, as we never know who might crash into us. While most drivers in Utah carry at least the minimum insurance coverage of $25,000, some are not insured. People who are irresponsible enough to drive under the influence, often are not insured because of prior incidents of driving under the influence and the cost and/or difficulty of getting car insurance. The insurance policy that provides financial protection against drivers like those featured in this story is called “uninsured” motorist coverage. The minimum coverage in Utah is $15,000. This amount hardly provides piece of mind, however, as a serious crash can leave you with bills exceeding $100,000. Really bad crashes that leave you in a coma could come with bills pushing $1 million.

Extra Insurance is Worth the Cost. The cost to upgrade your insurance and get additional coverage is relatively modest when compared with the amount of coverage you’re getting. You might be able to double, triple or 10x your coverage for maybe just an additional in 30-40% in premiums. It’s worth getting additional quotes to see if additional coverage for you and your family will fit in your budget.

Legally speaking, if you were injured because of someone who didn’t carry insurance and that person’s negligence caused your injuries, then you may have a personal injury claim against that person. In this case, as the driver had no insurance, it may be best to make a claim against your own uninsured motorist policy. Or, it could be a combination of making a claim against the driver personally along with your uninsured motorist claim.

Ron Kramer is an attorney practicing injury and insurance law in West Jordan and throughout Utah.