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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Even Law Enforcement Officers Face DUI Arrests

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Sep 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

People from all walks of life can be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Law enforcement officers and their family members should be well aware of what police look for when pulling over a suspected drunk driver. However, police officers and their family members are still subject to DUI arrests across the country.

A Houston police officer was charged with intoxication manslaughter after a deadly accident while driving off-duty. Officer James Combs was reportedly under the influence of alcohol when he got into an accident that killed 36-year-old Brian Manring. Officer Combs, who was off duty at the time, reportedly smelled of alcohol. When officers asked Combs to submit to a field sobriety test and preliminary alcohol screening test, Combs refused.

Officer Combs was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. During that time, a judge issued a warrant for a blood alcohol test after the accident. Combs' blood alcohol content (BAC) was tested at 0.17%, more than twice the legal limit. Combs faces possible jail time of up to 20 years if found guilty. He was released on $100,000 bond and is required to wear an ankle monitoring device.

Police officers and sheriff's deputies deal with suspected drunk drivers on a daily basis. They have training to how to identify impaired drivers and how to conduct standardized field sobriety tests. Law enforcement officers should understand how harsh DUI penalties can be, including a suspended license, thousands in fines and fees, and a criminal record. Police officers would be expected to communicate this to their friends and family, advising them anyone can be arrested for a DUI.

Locally, Crystal Manoiki was driving her 3-year-old son, 11-year-old son, and 1-year-old daughter home from their grandparent's house when she ran out of gas. She was stopped on I-680 near Bollinger Canyon Road. Moments later, a White Toyota Sequoia plowed into the rear of the stalled Toyota Camry. The children were taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. The mother was taken to John Muir Medical Center. Although the driver and passengers were wearing restraints at the time of the accident, the 3-year-old boy died at the hospital.

According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) investigators, 39-year-old Yarenit Malihan of Pleasanton was under the influence of alcohol when she struck the disabled vehicle on I-680 in San Ramon. Malihan sustained minor injuries. Malihan is reportedly the wife of an Alameda County Sheriff's deputy, although the sheriff's department is not releasing the name of the officer.

The CHP reports that Malihan had a valid driver's license, and has no prior DUI convictions. She was arrested on charges of felony driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter. If convicted, she could face up to ten years in prison.

If you are arrested for driving under the influence after an accident, your arrest does not have to lead to a conviction. With more than 30 years of experience defending people from all walks of life facing DUI charges in the East Bay, Lynn Gorelick understands how a conviction can affect your future. Contact the East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands the charges you are facing, and will fight for your rights.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for 30 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense.

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