Facing Sentencing from Drunk Driving Crime Spree, Accused Must Pay for Alcohol Monitoring Despite Economic Status

By Daniella Dueñas

WOODLAND, CA – The accused was sentenced last week in Yolo County Superior Court after being charged with a wide range of violations from 2021 that included five felonies and two misdemeanors, including four counts of driving under the influence. assault, vandalism, evading police and false imprisonment.

The accused’s attorney, Richard Lansburgh, said he hoped he could show the court the accused was now a changed man since then and as a result could receive a lesser sentence.

Lansburgh argued to Judge Tom Dyer that the sentence should be probation, explaining, “(probation) captures the essence of Mr. the accused’s present status that he is actively reforming his prior conduct. He’s 22 years old,” he emphasized.

“Any legal reason the court cannot proceed with that today?” inquired Judge Dyer, turning his attention toward Deputy District Attorney Christine Caryn Warren.

And, although DDA Warren acknowledged the accused is young and has been making a lot of progress reforming his past acts, she reiterated that it was not just one DUI or two. The accused had picked up four DUIs over the course of a few months.

“This was dangerous behavior and a public safety risk. I believe this is deserving of a prison sentence,” Warren asserted.

Both sides made rational points regarding the accused. Although he did commit very serious offenses, he was demonstrating his ability to comply with the law and proper conduct. DPD Lansburgh noted a probation officer did note that the accused qualified for a reduction based on his economic status.

“If the court does determine that case appropriate for probation,” began Warren, “on the third time DUI, it’s a mandatory 120 days. I would ask that that time run consecutive to felony sentencing and I would ask for an additional year of SCRAM.”

SCRAM, or the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, would ensure and check the accused regarding alcohol consumption. This device, however, is not free. There is a charge for a one-time installation fee and a daily monitoring fee that adds up monthly.

Judge Dyer stated to the accused, “You’ve made some changes…apparently alcohol free for 300 days. But you have a really bad driving issue here when it comes to alcohol. The concern for the court is what happens next in terms of potential injuries to others putting people at risk, God forbid, anyone getting killed by your behavior, sir.”

The judge sentenced the accused to 180 days in jail, with 29 days of time-served, 120 days for the misdemeanors to be served concurrent to the 180 days, four years of formal probation and an additional year of SCRAM.

He wished the accused good luck, but before he could continue to the next case, someone from the Zoom call interjected.

“Your Honor, can we just recall that real quickly? This is Sam Perri from probation,” asked Perri.

Although the accused was given a year of SCRAM, it was not specified whether it would be paid by him or by the probation department. Lansburgh had noted the accused’s economic status, but it was never resolved.

Judge Dyer wanted to keep it as its current status, meaning that the accused would continue to pay for SCRAM. Mr. Lansburgh spoke up, reiterating that due to his client’s economic status, these payments would be a terrible strain on him financially.

Perri, however, was not on the same page as DPD Lansburgh, arguing, “I believe that this would be the defendant’s responsibility, your Honor. We did not recommend a year of SCRAM, we believe that was the DA’s recommendation.”

Ultimately, Judge Dyer agreed with Perri and decided the accused, despite his economic status, would be responsible for paying.

The accused’s surrender date is Oct. 26.

About The Author

Daniella Dueñas is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis. She double-majored in Political Science and Sociology, with an emphasis on law and society. Her interest is primarily in immigration law, however, she is also interested in criminal law and justice. Daniella plans to attend law school in the future, but is working towards getting a certificate from an ABA-approved paralegal program.

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