Friday, September 7, 2007

Cop allegedly drives on suspended license after DUI arrest

California drunk driving criminal defense attorney news

A 35-year Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department veteran was suspended with pay Thursday pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation into his recent arrest on a charge of drunk driving, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

The California Highway Patrol arrested sheriff's Chief Michael Aranda, a Palmdale resident who oversees the Technical Services Division, at 11:45 p.m. June 12 on Highway 14 near Crown Valley, Whitmore said.

Whitmore said Aranda was cited for a misdemeanor DUI. Sheriff Lee Baca subsequently learned that Aranda had allegedly driven his county vehicle even after the Department of Motor Vehicles had suspended his license July 13, Whitmore said.

"As soon as the sheriff found out he was driving with a suspended license, he pulled the car, ordered the internal criminal investigation and suspended Mr. Aranda with pay pending the outcome of the investigation," Whitmore said.

Aranda declined to comment Thursday.

The District Attorney's Office has not filed charges against Aranda yet.

"The case was originally presented to the Justice System Integrity Division," District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.

California DUI criminal defense lawyers wonder why this DA's office handled it this way.