COURT WATCH: Judge Denies Request to Reduce DUI Causing Injury Despite Acknowledging Injuries ‘Not Particularly Extreme’


By Kaveh Nasseri and Audrey Sawyer

WOODLAND, CA – Yolo County Superior Court Judge David Reed this week denied a request to lower the accused’s felony driving under the influence (DUI) case to a misdemeanor even though he admitted the injuries sustained were not particularly extreme.

According to testimony, on June 5, the accused allegedly crossed over an undivided two-way road, causing a crash that totaled his car as well as the victim’s. 

The accused was subsequently charged with DUI, causing a felony injury. He was also charged with a misdemeanor for the use of a controlled substance and another misdemeanor for being an unlicensed driver. 

In the aftermath of the collision the accused was tested for alcohol and drugs, and he allegedly told the DUI investigator who appeared on the scene that he was under the influence of methamphetamine. 

According to the defense, the accused was driving while scratching out a lottery ticket, which may further explain the cause of the crash.

According to the DUI investigator called to the scene, the victim’s left arm was bleeding from a cut in the elbow, and he was transported to Davis medical center for abdominal pain and internal injuries. 

However, when viewing a report about the treatment and transport of the victim, the victim responded with “0” when asked about his pain on a scale of 1-10. Based on that, Defense Attorney Rob Gorman asked the court to reduce the case to a misdemeanor, claiming the level of injury did not support a felony DUI charge.

In response, the prosecution argued, “I don’t think this is purely about the level of injury,” and claimed the accused was “more or less hitting somebody else head on,” adding, “We’re lucky this isn’t a more serious crime.” 

The prosecution noted the injury did result in glass embedded in the victim’s arm and pain in his clavicle and chest.

Judge Reed admitted the injuries caused are on the less extreme side, but concluded that “it does not support reducing to misdemeanor at this stage,” pointing out the accused had still been using a controlled substance and had driven without a valid license. 

The defense asked to lower the accused’s bail from $10,000 to $2,000 based on the level of injury. 

But the prosecuting attorney disagreed, arguing the driving pattern was “significant and dangerous” and $10,000 current bail is a reasonable bail amount. 

The court decided to lower the accused’s bail to $5,000 and set an arraignment date for July 18.

About The Author

Audrey is a senior at UC San Diego majoring in Political Science (Comparative Politics emphasis). After graduation, Audrey plans on attending graduate school and is considering becoming a public defender.

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