In June 2012, a California Highway Patrol officer appeared for her preliminary hearing on felony DUI charges, one of the many court appearances she will face in relation to the charges. The 17-year CHP veteran was arrested after being involved in an auto accident where others suffered injuries. If convicted, the woman faces severe penalties.
The officer's DUI charges stem from an accident on January 14, 2012. The officer was off duty, driving on South Bonnyview Avenue in Redding, California, and police allege that she caused a four-car wreck because she was intoxicated while driving. Police claim the officer's blood alcohol content was between 0.13 and 0.16 percent – almost twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
The officer did not sustain any injuries during the crash, but five other people were hurt. Police responding to the crash reported that the officer admitted that she was too drunk to drive. The police report states that the woman shouted obscenities at the police and kneed officer in the thigh while being handcuffed and placed in the squad car. In addition to felony DUI charges, the officer also faces misdemeanor charges for resisting arrest.
The officer entered a not guilty plea at her arraignment and the judge released her without bail.
Potential Penalties for DUI with Injuries
A DUI with injuries charge can either be a felony or a misdemeanor. The potential penalties for felony charges include:
- Two to 4 years in prison
- An additional 3 to 6 consecutive years in prison if anyone suffered great bodily injury, or
- An additional consecutive year in prison for each person who suffered bodily injury, up to a maximum of three years
- A strike on a person's criminal record under California's Three Strikes law if anyone suffered great bodily harm
- A fine of $1,015 to $5,000
- Court-ordered attendance at an 18- or 30-month DUI school
- A five-year Habitual Traffic Offender status
- A five-year driver's license revocation
Speak With an Attorney
DUI charges in California are serious matters. The potential penalties a person faces if convicted can completely turn his or her life upside down. If you have been charged with DUI, talk to a seasoned criminal defense attorney who can discuss your options with you.