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Mayor announces resignation after crash injures cheerleaders

The mayor of a California city is stepping down amid allegations that he was drunk at the time of a car accident that left four teenage girls injured. The mayor was taken into custody based on the determination of officers on the scene that he was impaired. A breath test indicated that his blood alcohol content was .07 percent, less than California’s .08 percent legal limit.

The 44-year-old man said he was resigning from positions on the city council and as mayor of Murrieta, California, a city located around 75 miles from Los Angeles. On Oct. 16, the man rear-ended a car that was stopped at an intersection, according to police. In the car were four cheerleaders ranging in age from 14 to 17 years old. Authorities said the girls suffered moderate to major injuries in the crash.

The man is also an Anaheim Fire Department battalion chief, a position he intends to retain. He said he expects to be exonerated of the criminal charges and that he is not pulling out of the ongoing city council election. His defense attorney pointed out that not every accident is a crime. The attorney admitted that alcohol had been consumed but said that her client was not under the influence.

The public information officer for Murrieta said that a person may be taken into custody if he or she seems impaired and has alcohol in their system. In a case like this one, the testimony of law enforcement may be especially important in attempting to prove the drunk driving charges. A defense attorney may be able to help a person charged with DUI by challenging the expertise of officers to judge whether or not a person was truly intoxicated during an accident.

Source: CBS News, “California mayor resigns after crashing car into cheerleaders“, October 21, 2014

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.