DUI Defendant Admits Needs to ‘Grow Up,’ Paid for Mistake – Literally

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By Tanya Decendario

FRESNO – Defendant David Honeycutt knew he made a mistake and literally paid for it here—several thousand dollars.

Honeycutt faced his second offense DUI conviction in Fresno County Superior Court Tuesday after driving under the influence during Labor Day weekend.

He admitted the crime, and that he needs to “grow up” and had no excuse.

While driving intoxicated, the 47-year-old defendant experienced car malfunctions, causing him to lose control of his vehicle. As a result, Honeycutt’s vehicle slipped away from the paved shoulder and trampled a perimeter fence.

Deputy District Attorney Albert Aramayo began the pre-trial hearing by introducing the defendant’s prior DUI record, noting, “He’s currently on probation for DUI in another county.”

DDA Aramayo quickly shifted to Honeycutt’s present case: “There was a hit and run which is being dismissed. Present case, in which the defendant collided with a perimeter fence after going over the shoulder on Interstate 5.”

In defense of Honeycutt, Assistant Public Defender Eduardo Cortez argued, “In this case, Honeycutt has conveyed to me that there was also a malfunction with the car’s braking system…it did collide with the fence.”

And he clarified, “The fence [was] I believe was in a rural area. The damage, I believe, was minimal. The vehicle was moved into a safer location, which [is where] he ended up stopping.”

PD Cortez reassured the court, “Other than the prior DUI, Honeycutt has no other criminal history. I believe he is also taking responsibility for this DUI early on in the proceeding.”

DDA Aramayo interrupted, “Your honor, if I may add?”

Judge Jeff Hamilton responded, “Sure, go ahead.”

DDA Aramayo corrected PD Cortez’s claims and informed the judge “the defendant has a very excessive criminal history. However, it is mostly in Sacramento County. I’m currently looking at it and most of it is felony, misdemeanor, and drug convictions.”

PD Cortez acknowledged DDA Aramayo’s findings and chose not to comment.

Then, Judge Hamilton shifted gears and turned to the defendant asking, “Mr. Honeycutt, anything you want to say sir?”

Honeycutt responded, “I mean, I learned my lesson about it, your honor. You know it’s really impacted myself, my family, my kids, and just everybody around me.”

He admitted, “You know I’m 47 years old, it’s time to grow up and just be responsible.”

Judge Hamilton agreed, and added, “I agree with all of that. I do have to wonder though, why’d you get a new one in two years?”

Honeycutt explained, “Well, it was Labor Day weekend and I was heading back to work in Napa from Bakersfield,” revealing “I had a situation with my truck. It had a blow out and you know it ran off the road, it was an accident. It was completely my fault and being irresponsible.”

Judge Hamilton questioned Honeycutt, “Right, why are you still drinking and driving after one?”

Honeycutt acknowledged that and stated, “I have no excuse for that, your honor.”

Judge Hamilton ruled that Honeycutt will face three years of informal bench probation, or go to jail, pay $1,945 in fines, and enroll in the SB38 (California DUI School) program for 18 months.

Tanya Decendario is a third-year student studying Legal Studies at UC Berkeley. She is originally from Sonoma, CA, but currently resides in Albany, CA.


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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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