Criminal Defense | Drunk Driving | Military Law

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Orange County Sheriff Drives Drunk has Two Collisions in one Night

The Orange County Sheriffs Department is investigating one of their own for suspicion of driving under the influence and crashing into a vehicle. On Monday of this week Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Allen Waters was involved in two collisions. The first incident happened in front of City Hall in Dana Point where deputies were called and took an incident report. It was not explained if the Lexus was parked or what the damage was, but Deputy Waters and the driver were able to go on their way. Within the hour CHP was called to a collision again involving Waters in Laguna Niguel. The California Highway Patrol reported that Waters made an unsafe turn to the right, and the resulting impact sent his car off multiple curbs and then into a Toyota with an elderly couple inside. One of the victims was taken to the hospital. At this collision the CHP reported that the unsafe turn was "...due to Waters' level of intoxication" according to the Orange County Weekly. The Orange County Sheriff's Department will conduct a full investigation. Driving under the influence can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. If a driver has three previous convictions and picks up a fourth case in a ten year period then the fourth case can be filed as a felony. Or, if a driver has never had a DUI previously but while driving drunk causes bodily injury to another then that case may be tried as a felony.

A first time misdemeanor DUI carries a maximum punishment of 6 months but most people do no jail time although they must pay a fine, attend an alcohol school and are put on three years of informal probation. A second time DUI within 10 years of a previous DUI has the same punishment except the maximum jail time is 1 year; the actual punishment varies from county to county. In Orange County an individual is looking at between 45-60 days in jail on a second DUI. On a third DUI the minimum punishment is 120 days by law and on a fourth DUI within 10 years of three previous convictions the maximum is 3 years in state prison. There are many possible defenses to driving under the influence. (See Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a), 23152(b), 23153(a), 23153(b).)

Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636

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