Saturday, October 18, 2008

Former California police officer tests positive for alcohol, breaks felony drunk driving criminal case release condition

SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA DUI & DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE LAWYERS at announce that Sandra Woodall, the former San Jose police officer at the heart of a suspected drunken driving cover-up by police officers, has tested positive for alcohol since her arrest, breaking one of her release conditions, according to court documents.

Woodall — whose case was back in court Friday — failed an alcohol test Aug. 1 and was ordered by a judge to constantly wear an alcohol monitor bracelet, court documents say.

While the alcohol test affected Woodall's pending felony drunken-driving case, it is unclear whether it would have any effect on the criminal investigation of two San Jose police officers who may have tried to cover up Woodall's intoxication after the district attorney's investigator smashed her Cadillac Escalade into two other cars in San Jose on March 25. The cover-up case is now in the hands of District Attorney Dolores Carr. Her decision is pending.

Using an investigation by the police department, Carr will decide if Sgt. Will Manion and officer Patrick D'Arrigo — both now on administrative leave — committed a crime when they dealt with the accident that night.

Witnesses said that a belligerent and disoriented Woodall was openly admitting that she had been drinking and was just out of rehab. Although officers reported that they noted no signs of intoxication and did not test her alcohol level, medical personnel believed she was drunk and later told investigators they felt that Manion had tried to disrupt their attempts to determine her level of sobriety and get her to the hospital. Later, at the hospital, D'Arrigo reportedly told the mother of a teenage accident victim that it was too late to test Woodall for alcohol.

After questions arose about the initial accident investigation, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office brought in the California Attorney General's office to review the case because Woodall now works as a district attorney's investigator, creating a conflict of interest. The attorney general's office eventually charged Woodall with felony drunken driving. She has pleaded not guilty and a preliminary hearing for Woodall is set for Jan. 15.