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Felony DUI Conviction for Man Who Crashed into a Bus

Posted on in DUI

San Mateo County charged a man with felony DUI last year after he slammed his car into a SamTrans bus, injuring five people. He pleaded “open” meaning the court could have sentenced him to two years state prison, which prosecutors were asking for. However, earlier today the court sentenced the man to one year county jail, five years probation and the other mandatory terms and conditions including the DUI Offender Class.

Felony DUI can be charged on a first offense if the drunk driving resulted in bodily injury. Vehicle Code section 23153 states that if a person drives a motor vehicle while intoxicated and commits an unlawful act while driving that results in the injury of a person, he may be charged with felony DUI. A fourth offense for driving under the influence may also be charged as a felony.

The penalties for a felony DUI are stiff: two, three or four years in state prison (or up to six years if the victim suffered great bodily injury), three to five years of formal probation, the 9 to 18-month DUI offender class and a five year revocation of driving privileges.

In this case the defendant crashed his vehicle into the back of a SamTrans bus, injuring five people, some of whom were taken to a hospital. According to the Mercury News the defendant reported to the police that he hit the bus and admitted that he was “a little drunk.” His blood alcohol content was reported at .17%. The California per se limit is .08%. The defendant also owes restitution to the victims in what is reported to be in the thousands. The court may allow the defendant to serve some or all of his sentence in a work furlough facility that will allow him to work during the day.

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