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San Francisco police officer faces felony drunk driving charge

Police officers routinely end up participating in the court system after they arrest civilians for alleged drunk driving. Anyone who faces DWI charges knows their future depends heavily on the outcome of any criminal proceedings. But in some cases, those same police officers end up on the other side of the justice system and will likely also depend on state and federal laws to defend their future.

That's what happened recently to a San Francisco police officer. He was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving late last month in Tuolumne County. According to a news report, the 25-year-old man from San Mateo was driving his sports car in Groveland. He apparently lost control on a curve during the evening hours and clipped a pine tree with his Corvette. California Highway Patrol officials say the car then slid down an embankment and hit another tree.

What upgraded this incident from a misdemeanor offense to a felony offense was that the police officer had a passenger in his vehicle who was injured in the crash. According to a news report, the 20-year-old Groveland passenger suffered a concussion and minor scrapes. He was taken to Sonora Regional Medical Center and later released.

The officer was arrested and released after posting $25,000 bail. Although he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, it is unclear as to what sobriety tests, if any, were performed at the scene of the accident. No information was revealed as to the man's blood alcohol content.

As anyone who has ever faced criminal charges understands, the outcome of the case against the police officer may have a serious effect on his future and career. The young man reportedly works for the San Francisco Police Department's operations division. A spokesman for the department indicated that they will review the incident report related to the crash and then make a determination as to the police officer's work status.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. cop faces drunken driving charge," Will Kane, July 20, 2012

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