A Santa Maria-based California Highway Patrol officer facing driving-under-the-influence charges after crashing his vehicle in Arroyo Grande three months ago may be headed to trial.
Michael Mallory, 37, who was acting as public information officer for the 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 last month 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 he and the District Attorney’s Office have not been able to reach a settlement in the case, which he had hoped could be dropped.
Both sides appeared in San Luis Obispo Superior Court last week.
“We did not resolve the case in court,” Aron told Noozhawk. “The DA’s office has not made an offer that is acceptable to my client.”
Aron said the prosecution hasn’t offered anything less than a DUI.
San Luis Obispo Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran would not comment on any offers so far. He said the prosecution is still consulting with its experts to determine the best course of action.
While Mallory was not under the influence of an illegal drug, the prosecution could prove that he was impaired, Gran added.
“It’s unusual in the sense that, obviously, it’s a CHP officer, and it’s just prescription drugs,” he said.
Mallory pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, on Sept. 6.
He wasn’t placed on any kind of administrative leave after the incident, but he is no longer the public information officer.
Mallory is scheduled to be back in court Dec. 27 for a trial-setting conference. A tentative trial date has been set for Jan. 28.