General Crime

* Alameda DA Says They Could Not Prove Ignacio De La Fuente Was Drunk

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The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office decided not to file misdemeanor drunken driving charges against Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente because prosecutors didn’t think they could prove he was over the legal limit when he was driving, a spokeswoman said today. A California Highway Patrol officer arrested De La Fuente, 62, the night of Dec. 23 because he failed field sobriety and driver coordination tests, according to CHP spokesman Sam Morgan. An officer had pulled over De La Fuente at the Fruitvale exit on eastbound Interstate Highway 580 at about 7:30 p.m. that day after reportedly clocking him traveling at about 80 mph in a 65 mph zone and seeing him make unsafe lane changes, Morgan said. Under California law, a motorist is considered to be driving under the influence when his blood alcohol level is .08 or higher. Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick said De La Fuente’s blood alcohol level “was on the rise” between the time that he was stopped and the time he was tested, but because of the lag time prosecutors didn’t think they could prove he was drunk while he was driving. They also didn’t think they could prove their case because the preliminary tests were inadmissible, Drenick said. De La Fuente was elected to the Oakland City Council in 1992 and ran for mayor in 1998 and 2006. He lost to Jerry Brown in his first race and to Ron Dellums in his second race.

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2 Comments

  • Come on! What is there to prove? He’s a mexican! they all drive drunk and that’s all anyone need to know to convict! they also drive with no insurance and no license.

  • [1] If De La Fuente’s blood alcohol level was above .08, he should be charged. The “rising alcohol level” defense has been used before, and has been rejected by juries, and such rejection has been approved by the courts. The courts’ reasoning — which I agree with — is that a person shouldn’t drink an excessive amount of alcohol and then try to race home before it takes its full effect.

    [2] “Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick said she also didn’t think they could prove their case because the preliminary tests were inadmissible.” Why would they not be admissible?

    This looks like the usual political favoritism and special treatment that we have seen before with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reduction of the prison sentence of Esteban Nunez, the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

    It must be nice to be a member of the Politburo!

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