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California man pleads not guilty to eluding DUI checkpoint

On Sept. 18, a 51-year-old California man pleaded not guilty to charges he was drunk when he attempted to flee a police DUI checkpoint in July. The incident occurred in Desert Hot Springs.

According to authorities, the defendant failed to stop his 2012 Volkswagen Jetta at a DUI and driver's license checkpoint set up on the 13-700 block of Palm Drive around 12:30 a.m. on July 26. Police cruisers chased the Jetta to the intersection of Cactus Drive and Hacienda Avenue, where it smashed into a concrete median. The defendant allegedly exited the vehicle, fled the scene on foot and then struggled with the officers who tried to take him into custody. No officers were hurt in the scuffle.

The defendant is facing felony charges of evading police and resisting arrest. He has also been charged with misdemeanor counts of drunk driving and driving with a suspended license. He was released on $5,000 bail.

In California, drunk driving consequences can be severe and life-altering. Defendants convicted of driving under the influence can face steep fines, jail time and the loss of driving privileges. Some people may even have their employment or educational opportunities threatened. People who have been issued such charges could help their legal situation and protect their livelihood by retaining a criminal defense attorney immediately upon arrest. In some cases, it may be possible to challenge the accuracy of a blood alcohol content level test or field sobriety tests. In other circumstances, legal counsel may recommend negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors that withdraws the most serious charges in exchange for a guilty plea to a lesser offense.

Source: Palm Desert Patch, "Man Pleads Not Guilty to Fleeing From DUI Checkpoint," Alexander Nguyen, Sept. 18, 2015

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