Thursday, December 8 , 2016, 2:33 am | Mostly Cloudy 47º


Local News

CHP Officer Charged with DUI Had Ambien in His System

Attorney says sleep aid was in Michael Mallory’s system when he crashed into parked cars in Arroyo Grande

A Santa Maria-based California Highway Patrol officer accused of driving under the influence had a sleeping-aid drug in his system when he crashed his vehicle in Arroyo Grande two months ago, according to his attorney.

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 Friday 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.

“We don’t know if that’s going to be sufficient enough for the prosecution to proceed,” Aron said.

Mallory pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on Sept. 6.

The new toxicology results were shared in court this week.

Mallory’s initial blood test results were negative for alcohol and the most commonly abused drugs, so his blood was sent back to screen for prescription drugs, San Luis Obispo Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran said.

Aron would not comment on why Ambien was found in Mallory’s system, but he said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the prosecution has a borderline case, at best.

“Obviously, we’re hoping for an acquittal,” Aron said. “He’s working and looking forward to moving on with life.”

Mallory 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 Nov. 20, when a resolution should be reached, Aron said.

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.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >