Perhaps the most important rule for people fighting DUI accusations is to be sober when making court appearances. A former sheriff’s deputy in Orange County, California, failed to heed this rule, and will face the consequences.
Allan James Waters, 38, had been facing a likely sentence of 16 months in prison for his conviction on several counts, including a felony DUI and charges that he had illegally tried to obtain prescription medicines.
Waters, however, appeared at his first sentencing hearing with slurred speech and an inability to keep his balance. Waters was then placed in police custody for several weeks after the judge said he was in no condition to be sentenced.
Several weeks later, the judge finally doubled his sentence to 32 months due to Waters’ previous behavior in the courtroom.
A term of Waters’ initial $100,000 bail was that he had to remain sober. After Waters appeared drunk at his initial hearing, the judge ordered him back into police custody and raised his bail to $250,000.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Waters had been involved in a messy accident and had a history of other felony violations.
In April, Waters pled guilty to felony driving under the influence causing bodily injury after an accident involving a serious injury to a 78 year-old woman.
Waters’ legal problems, though, extended beyond the DUI charge. He was also charged with two felony counts of selling a substance in lieu of cocaine and nine felony counts of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance.
The DUI accident occurred in March 2010 when Waters crashed into the back of a car at a red light. Sources indicate that Waters spoke with other deputies for about 30 minutes after the accident and then promptly left the scene.
The officers’ decision to let Waters leave the scene of the first accident proved to be a mistake.
Later that same day, Waters was still driving under the influence when he swerved into oncoming traffic and struck a vehicle driven by an elderly woman. The impact was so severe that the woman needed back surgery after the accident.
Toxicology reports later revealed that Waters had been under the influence of the prescription drugs zolpidem and hydrocodone.
After the initial traffic collision, Waters’ behavior did not improve. He was cited for trading fake cocaine for prescription drugs and trying to illegally obtain drugs from doctors.
To no one’s surprise, Waters has been relieved of his duties as a sheriff’s deputy.