DUI Suspect “Arrested” by Police Dog in Orange County California


A while back, I wrote a piece on my criminal website blog about donkeys serving time in jail. Now, we have a dog arresting a DUI suspect…. Well, sort of.

Last week, police attempted to stop a suspected DUI driver in Orange County. The police had been alerted because they received reports that the driver had hit a trash bin. The driver made the poor decision to keep on driving, entering the 55 freeway then driving onto the 91 before exiting. At some point he stopped, but by now this had become a full-on police action, with a K-9 unit and even a SWAT team called in.

A stand-off ensued but after 4 ½ hours, it was the police dog who took down the recalcitrant DUI suspect. Reportedly, when the suspect came to a stop, surrounded by police vehicles, he made threats to harm the officers. The suspect apparently had mixed feelings as he kept opening and closing his car door. This gave the police dog an opportunity to move in. The dog took multiple punches from the suspect but just kept at him. This allowed the police to move in and taser the suspect. The suspect was arrested and taken in an ambulance where he was being treated for dog bites. The police report he was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs but did not give any more information.

I have no idea what prompted this suspect to flee the police stop but assuming he didn’t have prior DUIs or criminal convictions and there wasn’t illegal contraband in his vehicle, the driver just turned what would have been relatively minor charges of first-time DUI and possible hit and run (charged as a misdemeanor for hitting the trash bin) into multiple charges, some of which may be charged as felonies. In addition to DUI and hit and run, among the charges the prosecutor is likely to file will be reckless evading a police officer, resisting arrest, threatening a law enforcement officer, assault on the police dog (which is a penal code violation), and DUI test refusal. Fortunately for the driver, he only hit a trash bin. When a DUI hit and run results in the injury or death of another person, the offense, depending on the injuries, will either carry sentence enhancements or be charged as a felony.

When a driver is under the influence, his or her decision-making skills are compromised. When that driver then hits another vehicle—or even just a trash bin—the first reaction is often “keep going.” The driver knows that otherwise, a DUI and responsibility for any damage caused will be the consequence if the driver stops and reports it. But making the decision to flee can turn a fairly bad outcome into a really bad outcome. Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney can make a dramatic difference in the outcome.

Being arrested for DUI, especially if there are attendant charges, can be a frightening ordeal. Orange County DUI defense attorney William Weinberg has represented drivers accused of DUI and related offenses for 25 years. With his experience and skill, he will explore every defense in your case to ensure the best possible outcome. You can contact him for a free consultation by phoning him at his Irvine Office at (949) 474-8008 or by emailing him at bill@williamweinberg.com.

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