Even though the client had a large amount of opiates in her possession (without a valid prescription), was driving with a BAC of nearly twice the legal limit, and had crashed into another vehicle, the DA agreed that the client would only have to pay a fine, attend AA meetings, attend a first-time drunk driving class, and attend one MADD panel. Fortunately for the client, the DA reluctantly agreed to a sentence that did not involve any jail time.
Facts of the arrest:
On 5/11/12, at 1:20 a.m., Jorgensen & Salberg’s client crashed into a car at the intersection of Trabuco Road and Lake Forest Drive in the City of Lake Forest. The OC Sheriffs responded to the accident scene and immediately noticed a strong smell of alcohol. The Sheriff also noticed the client had bloodshot and watery eyes, poor balance, slurred speech, mumbled speech, and was staggering. During the Field Sobriety Test, the client admitted to drinking alcohol and could not perform either the one-leg stand, nor was she able to touch her nose. When the Sheriffs arrested the client for DUI involving a collision, the Sheriff found five (5) Hydrocodone (325 mg) pills, 12 ½ Hydrocodone (5mg) pills, one (1) oxycodon (5 mg) pill, one (1) yellow Hydrocodone (10 mg) pill, five (5) Diazapan (5mg) pills, and six (6) Hydrocodon (325mg) pills. The client admitted that she did not have a prescription for any of the pills, except for the 5mg Hydrocodone pills.
- Health and Safety Code 11350, which prohibits possessing specific controlled substances (opiates)” without a valid prescription. (Felony)
- Vehicle Code Section 23152(A) / Vehicle Code Section 23152(B) (Misdemeanor DUI).
Section 23152(A) requires evidence of alcohol and/or drug impairment in order to obtain a conviction. The test for impairment is; “a person is under the influence if, as a result of (drinking [or consuming] an alcoholic beverage [and/or] taking a drug), his or her mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances”.
VC 23152(b) (Per Se Statute) makes it illegal to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more.” This is the driving under the influence statute which most people understand as the law. This code section is alcohol specific and only a minimum blood alcohol level of .08% need be proven for a conviction. The law presumes all drivers to be under the influence, if the blood alcohol level was .08% or more at the time of driving.
Dismissal of Felony
On January 31, 2013, Jorgensen & Salberg convinced the District Attorney’s Office to dismiss the Felony charge, which prompted the client to plead guilty to a standard violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152(A) / Vehicle Code Section 23152(B) (Misdemeanor DUI).