Thursday, August 27 , 2015, 6:38 pm | Fair 76.0º




CHP Officer Charged with DUI Could Face Trial

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

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 Shane Mallory
Michael Shane Mallory

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.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




comments powered by Disqus

» on 11.27.12 @ 12:27 AM

The DA’s office has their undies on backwards on this one.  How many real crimes occur and this Officer gets dragged through the mud for a sleeping pill?  The DA should be ashamed!

» on 11.27.12 @ 01:53 PM

The fact that he was intoxicated enough to hit two parked cars at the beginning of his shift due to a prescription drug, rather than alcohol or illegal drugs, is irrelevant. Did his prescription make him a safer driver?

» on 11.27.12 @ 02:13 PM

Sorry interloper, but the DA is right on this one.  We don’t give people a pass because they are a police officer, and we certainly don’t give them a pass because the drugs are legal.  So is alcohol, and we have laws for this.

The officer damaged property, and was allegedly under the influence of highly-impairing prescription sleeping pills.  That’s DUI or DWI no matter how you interpret the law.

» on 11.27.12 @ 04:03 PM

Absolutely correct - it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or ANY drug, and that includes prescription medication. This has been the law for many years. The defendant is a veteran CHP officer, so he should be well aware of these facts, too. There certainly appears to have been impairment. The prosecution is completely appropriate.

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