Judge Reluctantly Grants Pretrial Release for Defendant in DUI Case


By Elizabeth Garabedian

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Judge Clifford Anderson here in Santa Barbara County Superior Court Monday reluctantly released repeat DUI offender Luisa Lucero Uribe on pre-trial supervised release for new driving under the influence charges.

Uribe was granted supervised pretrial release into the Credo 47 treatment program so that she could receive help for her substance use.

Uribe has three priors from 2012 for driving under the influence and was charged with two counts of possessing a controlled substance, one count of possessing drug paraphernalia, one count for driving under the influence of drugs, and one count for using and being under the influence of drugs.

Deputy Public Defender Brian Mathis represented Uribe and asked for an update from probation on what they were working on for Uribe’s treatment program.

“I think what we need is an update from Ms. Trejo more than anything else,” Mathis said. Probation’s Trejo was present via Zoom and detailed the plan for Uribe if the court was inclined to release Uribe.

“She will be referred to the PRRC, the moral recognition treatment, R&R. She’ll have additional case management at the PRRC, wages program for employment, and get assistance from Goodwill and AmeriCorps,” probation’s Trejo said.

Upon Uribe’s release, she would have to stay overnight at Credo 47 to complete the intake paperwork and then would be able to move forward with intake at the Salvation Army hospitality house based on bed availability. Trejo added that probation could “make this happen” whenever the court determines Uribe’s release.

Deputy District Attorney Justin Greene voiced his concerns with this treatment plan, noting, “I think you or the court addressed a lot of the concerns I had based upon what I think would look at the situation in terms of what Ms. Uribe’s actions have been in the last two years versus what her words are…it appears that whenever she is in custody her words are ‘I want treatment.’ When she is out on the streets, she has no desire for treatment and you can see that based upon her actions.”

Noting Uribe has failed to appear in court on numerous occasions and has multiple probation and DRCS violations, Greene added, “I think that she is a significant public safety risk given the extent of her addiction, and one of her cases where she got behind a vehicle while she was under the influence. I just think that she should remain in custody, she is a significant public safety risk and I have very little confidence, if any, that if the court was going to release her yet another time that she would actually do what she said.”

DDA Greene further emphasized that he had little faith that Uribe would follow through with the program, stating that “my perspective is you keep banging your head against the wall and it keeps hurting, then it’s time for a change…”

PD Mathis spoke out in response to Greene and said, “If we take the prosecutor’s opinion to its natural conclusion, then we should just keep Ms. Uribe in custody forever. Instead, what we’ve done is probation has stepped up and they have put together a lot of different programming items, as well as housing that is in a sober living situation.”

PD Mathis expressed his confidence in probation’s plan for Uribe’s treatment and added that “the best thing that we can do for society is try to get Ms. Uribe the help that she needs so that she is not going to be a problem. Keeping her in custody is not going to accomplish that at all. I ask the court to follow probation’s recommendation and follow the treatment they have put forward.”

However, Mathis did acknowledge the possibility that Uribe would not follow through with treatment, noting, “What I think we should do is keep these on a short time schedule going forward, so if she walks away… she will find herself back in custody quickly.”

Judge Anderson decided to grant Uribe pretrial release, explaining, “I will give the defendant the opportunity to prove to herself and everybody else that she is serious about it. If she’s not, she will go back into custody and remain there. I will release her on supervised release.”

Judge Anderson read Uribe the terms of her release and confirmed she would have GPS monitoring. Uribe addressed the court, despite her attorney’s advisement not to, and thanked the judge for this opportunity.


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