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Three Gavilan College basketball players were injured in a tragic accident Sunday. Reports indicate that the driver of the car filled with the ball players and two female passengers swerved to avoid a tire in the road just prior to the crash. The car spun out and came to a stop facing the wrong direction on Highway 101. A Nissan then slammed head-on into the student's car.

Reports indicate that the group of students was at a San Francisco nightclub before the 1:30 a.m. traffic accident. Police reportedly arrested the 22-year-old student who was driving the car that initially spun out on suspicion of driving under the influence before he was released to San Francisco General Hospital, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP suggests that the young man could face felony DUI charges related to the traffic accident, apparently based upon the injuries involved. California law allows prosecutors to pursue felony DUI charges, even on a first-time offense, based upon allegations that a drunk driver was involved in an accident causing injuries. The driver and two of his teammates suffered serious injuries when the car they were in was struck by the Nissan. Two women, who were passengers in the Nissan, reportedly sustained minor injuries.

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A multi-agency police chase took place on Oct. 2 when a man allegedly stole a police cruiser from the annual "Tour de Poway" cycling event and drove it -- possibly while under the influence -- to the Carmel Valley area of northwest San Diego. Law enforcement booked the 30-year-old man into the San Diego County Jail after the 38-minute chase on suspicion of felony theft and felony evading, drunk driving, and driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Authorities claim the man stole a police cruiser that was being used by volunteer officers assisting with traffic control during the annual cycling event. Police claim the man took the vehicle while two volunteer officers were standing nearby. A Sheriff's deputy spotted the vehicle moments later and began the police chase. The SDPD and the California Highway Patrol also joined in the ground pursuit.

A Sheriff's helicopter was called in to assist in tracking the vehicle, allowing law enforcement on the ground to back-off in their pursuit. Authorities say that after roughly 38 minutes, the man found himself blocked into a cul de sac in the Carmel Valley area and attempted to drive through a fence in order to reach an adjacent street.

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Tagged in: DUI felonies

A number of Californians appearing for arraignment in DUI cases were recently the focus of a so-called police sting operation in Walnut Creek. News reports indicate that roughly 97 people appeared in Superior Court for arraignment on DUI charges on Sept. 26. Nearly all of the accused reportedly had suspended licenses.

Police say the judge warned each of the accused not to drive with a suspended license. News reports say most of the defendants did not drive, but police claim a number of people leaving the courthouse did drive away from their arraignments. Undercover officers reportedly watched as the defendants left the courthouse in Walnut Creek after the arraignment.

Law enforcement arrested 12 people leaving the courthouse. The undercover officers at the courthouse apparently radioed information to motorcycle officers waiting nearby. The motorcycle officers reportedly conducted traffic stops based upon the undercover officer's observations.

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Tagged in: DUI

In 2009, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a crime lab report was sufficiently similar to testimony. The case involved drug charges. The lab report stated the results of tests showed that a substance was cocaine. The Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors could not introduce the lab report as evidence in the criminal trial without a live witness that was competent to testify to the truth of the statements made in the report under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution.

Thursday the Supreme Court ruled that the live witness cannot be anyone but the original lab analysts who conducted the laboratory test. Thursday's ruling involved a DUI case where prosecutors introduced a lab report showing the results of a blood test drawn after a DUI arrest. Prosecutors had a live witness testify as to the statements made in the lab report, but the live witness had not conducted the original analysis.

The prosecutor called a supervisor from the crime lab to testify regarding the results shown on the lab report. The supervisor had not personally conducted the laboratory tests. A separate lab technician had conducted the DUI blood test sample analysis and signed the lab report. The prosecutor said the original analyst was on unpaid leave, without offering any further information.

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Two people have been charged with driving under the influence involving the same car after an alleged incident over the Father's Day weekend. Police allege the couple attended a party in Northridge on Saturday and consumed sufficient alcohol to raise their blood alcohol content above the legal limit in California. Each has been charged with California DUI charges and child endangerment.

Police say a Glendale woman called police to report that her boyfriend had driven off from a restaurant parking lot as she was attempting to place her daughter in the vehicle. The woman stopped to get something to eat after attending the party in Northridge. Police say the woman's boyfriend was sleeping in the car while the woman and the couple's daughter went inside to eat.

The 43-year-old Glendale man reportedly woke up in the back seat of the car and grew angry because his girlfriend was eating without him. Police say the man grabbed the car keys and drove off. Police say the woman submitted to a breath test, which returned results of .18 and .19. Police arrested the woman early Sunday on suspicion of driving under the influence and child endangerment, alleging the woman drove with her 4-year-old daughter in the car. The woman reportedly was released Sunday after posting a $100,000 bond.

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Tagged in: blood-alcohol tests
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