Friday, March 6, 2009

California fire chief pleas no contest to California DUI

California DUI attorneys and California DUI lawyers are told that the Isleton California fire chief has pleaded no contest to charges of a California DUI / drunk driving / driving under the influence of alcohol.

Chief Robert Eugene Bartley, 44, made the plea Thursday morning in a Lodi California courtroom.

Bartley was arrested at 2:28 a.m. Jan. 1 in San Joaquin County after the white Ford Explorer he was driving – an Isleton city vehicle – got stuck in the mud, said Adrian Quintero, a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

A passing motorist called police at 1:47 a.m. to report the disabled vehicle, which was on Walnut Grove Road, west of Interstate 5, Quintero said.

Police reports confusingly describe Bartley as cooperative but allegedly evasive when answering officers' questions. That doesn't make sense.

"He stated he was on his way home, but he did not tell us where he was coming from," Quintero said.

Bartley, who resides in Thornton, identified himself to officers as the Isleton California fire chief.

Tests allegedly determined Bartley's blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit, and he was arrested.

He said the CHP doesn't reveal the exact blood-alcohol level in California DUI arrests.

A passenger in the vehicle was driven to a safe place and released, according to the California DUI arrest reports.

The fire chief was sentenced Thursday to three years' probation and two days in county jail, said San Joaquin California County Deputy District Attorney Paul Christensen.

Bartley also is required to complete a program for first-time California DUI offenders and pay a $2,352 fine, Christensen said.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed that Bartley's Class B commercial license was suspended on Feb. 27 for California driving under the influence. Bartley has been Isleton's fire chief since February 2008. He is the sole paid employee of the one-station Fire Department and oversees a staff of volunteer firefighters and a good guy.

California DUI Defense Resource Center: