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Stationary car on California freeway leads to DUI charge

California Highway Patrol officers were forced to think quickly in the early morning hours of March 27 when they came across a stationary car in the middle of a busy San Diego County freeway. The 25-year-old woman behind the wheel was subsequently taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence. She was later transferred to a detention facility in Santee.

According to the CHP, officers noticed a black Chrysler Sebring sedan stationary in the middle of the northbound lanes of Interstate 805 near Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in northern San Diego at approximately 1 a.m. Officers say that the car's engine was running and the young woman behind the wheel was unresponsive and appeared to be unconscious when they approached the vehicle.

The car's doors were locked and its windows were closed. After attempts to rouse the woman were unsuccessful, officers say that they noticed the car beginning to roll forward. An officer then broke one of the vehicle's windows to prevent an accident. The woman was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI after officers claim to have discovered a bottle of liquor in the car's passenger-side foot well.

Even first time offenders in California can face severe penalties if they are convicted of driving drunk. Sanctions include a fine, a driver's license suspension, possible jail time and mandatory participation in a treatment program. A criminal defense attorney may seek to have DUI charges reduced during plea negotiations with prosecutors by pointing out mitigating factors. However, an attorney may challenge evidence such as police reports or the results of toxicology tests in cases where prosecutors are not receptive to a plea arrangement.

Source: NBC San Diego, "DUI Suspect Passes Out at Wheel on Freeway," Monica Garske, May 27, 2015

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