A California man faces charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol, fleeing police and violating the terms of his probation after allegedly leading officers on a chase through the streets of Danville on the morning of March 6. After being taken into custody, the 53-year-old Concord resident was transported to the Martinez Detention Facility for processing. It was subsequently discovered that both the California Highway Patrol and the Concord Police Department were seeking the man in connection with a series of collisions on Interstate 680. Initial reports do not reveal whether or not additional charges have been filed in connection with these accidents.
The Danville Police Department dispatched officers to El Capitan Drive and Iron Horse Trail at approximately 11:23 a.m. after receiving calls about a white Toyota sedan that was being driven erratically with its driver’s side door open. Officers say that the chase began when they observed the vehicle in question on Camino Ramon and attempted to perform a traffic stop. During the pursuit, the Toyota allegedly crossed the center line into the path of oncoming traffic. The car is then said to have made U-turn at Sycamore Valley Road before jumping a curb and coming to a rest.
When they approached the vehicle, officers say the man refused to obey their commands and resisted their efforts to place him in handcuffs. He was subdued when an officer used a Taser on him. Paramedics arriving at the scene treated the man for what media reports described as minor abrasions. A DPD representative thanked members of the public for helping officers to locate the man quickly and bring a potentially dangerous situation to a swift conclusion.
Criminal defense attorneys with experience in drunk driving cases would likely advise motorists to pull over for police officers even if doing so will probably lead to criminal charges. The penalties for DUI are severe in California, and they become even harsher when additional charges are filed against suspects who attempt to elude police and resist arrest. Defense attorneys may seek to mitigate drunk driving penalties during plea negotiations, but prosecutors could be less willing to show leniency to defendants who have compounded their mistakes by obstructing or fleeing law enforcement.