In an ironic Los Angeles DUI case, Miguel Santana, a 40-year-old LA city administrator, has been charged with driving under the influence in Southern California following an evening of partying with none another than District Attorney Steve Cooley. Last Monday, Cooley’s office filed Los Angeles DUI charges pursuant to Santana’s March 26th arrest in Covina for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.15%.
Santana, who wields extensive budget authority for Los Angeles, attended an American Diabetes Association fundraiser at a Marriott Hotel along with DA Cooley on March 26. He left the party in a city-owned car and got stopped and arrested by the CHP (California Highway Patrol) in Covina. Santana made a $5,000 bail and issued a public apology the following morning. In the wake of the arrest, Santana entered an alcohol treatment program, turned into his city car, and took a temporary leave to deal with his legal situation. He went back to work on April 15th. A May 25th arraignment has been scheduled.
According to the DA office’s allegations, Santana had a BAC of 0.15%. What exactly actually does Southern California DUI law say about BAC levels?
Two California Vehicle Code Sections are critical: CVC Section 23152(a) and CVC Section 23152(b). 23152(a) says that a driver stopped while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can face criminal charges — either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on circumstances. If you get convicted of multiple DUIs within a 10-year period, or if you injure someone during the commission of a Pasadena DUI, for instance, you may face a felony. Punishments can include a loss of California driver’s license, major fines, and mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device in your car.
23152(b) defines driving under the influence in Glendale (or elsewhere in Southern California) “per se” as driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. In Santana’s case, his BAC of 0.15% was nearly twice the legal limit – perhaps high enough over the limit for him to face additional charges on top of standard misdemeanor Southern California DUI.
What Can You Do If You or a Loved One Faces Similar Charges?
Legal options abound. But if you don’t take smart and decisive steps to build a strategic defense, you could wind up facing harsh penalties that can follow you for years.
Connect with attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers ASAP. Attorney Kraut worked for years as a prosecutor – a senior Deputy District Attorney, in fact – and his keen prosecutorial knowledge along with his Harvard Law School education have made him one of the more formidable Southern California DUI defense lawyers working today.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Glendale or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.