Prosecutors this week dismissed a DUI charge against a Santa Maria-based California Highway Patrol officer who crashed his vehicle in Arroyo Grande six months ago, according to his attorney.
As part of the settlement, Michael Mallory, 37, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless driving charge, which carries a $1,200 fine and a required driving class.
Mallory, who was acting as public information officer for CHP’s Santa Maria office at the time, reportedly crashed his vehicle into two parked cars about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in Arroyo Grande. He wasn’t on duty at the time, but was on his way to work.
Police responded and conducted field sobriety tests, which showed signs of impairment.
Mallory’s attorney, William Aron, said late last year that his client’s blood screening, which originally came back negative for both drugs and alcohol, shows that Ambien, a sedative and popular sleep aid, was present.
Aron said this week that his client and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office settled the case Tuesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. The case had been tentatively set for trial next Monday.
San Luis Obispo Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Mallory originally pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, on Sept. 6.
“My client maintains his innocence,” Aron told Noozhawk. “He’s just ready to move forward with his life.”
Mallory believed a trial would be expensive, distracting and unfavorable for his four children, according to Aron.
Aron said he’s grateful Mallory received no jail time or community service.
He could not comment on what the plea would mean for Mallory’s employment. After the incident, Mallory wasn’t placed on any kind of administrative leave, but he is no longer the public information officer.