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Petaluma cop accused of October DUI on scooter at golf course

Posted on March 08, 2013 in DUI

Last fall, an off-duty Petaluma Police officer crashed a motorized scooter on the fourth fairway of the Rooster Run Golf Club. The police department held a benefit golf tournament at the public golf course October 5. The off-duty officer who crashed a scooter had worked the graveyard shift the night before the tournament and reported in the morning to drive a golf cart transporting "pin-up girls" around the course during the tourney and other tasks related to the event, according to the Press-Democrat.

At some point, authorities say that the officer borrowed a motorized scooter from a fellow officer and reportedly took a run onto the course. That is when he allegedly crashed, suffering undisclosed injuries. Officers and police brass were all over the course for the tournament, but after the wreck, the off-duty cop was not asked to perform field sobriety tests, nor did he submit any breath or blood sample.

Someone at the golf course called 911, and the officer was taken to Petaluma Valley Hospital for treatment. About a month passed, and Petaluma Police reportedly contacted the California Highway Patrol to open a DUI investigation related to the incident. Petaluma Police claim that the department had been looking into the incident and desired to have an independent investigation opened.

Authorities say that the officer had been seen drinking from a red cup on the day of the event. Witnesses reportedly claim that the officer was "boisterous" during the fund raiser. The CHP reportedly recommended that the officer be charged with driving under the influence. The prosecutor claims that he has subpoenaed records from the hospital where the officer sought treatment, but a report in the Press-Democrat does not indicate if any evidence was obtained from the subpoena.

The man accused of DUI has pled not guilty. His lawyer appeared in court this week in the case, which has not been resolved. The man is scheduled for his next hearing on the DUI charges March 25.

Not all DUI charges are filed in the immediate aftermath of an incident. Most Santa Cruz area drivers may be aware that the legal limit to drive in California is 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.

However, California's DUI laws also allow prosecutors to pursue DUI charges on allegations and evidence to show that a driver was under the influence other than the 0.08 percent per se evidence of impairment. In each type of DUI charge, the prosecutor must prove the alleged offense beyond a reasonable doubt.


  • The Press-Democrat, "Petaluma police officer accused of drunken scooter crash," Paul Payne, March 7, 2013
  • California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a)

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