|For Immediate Release
Case # 11CM14388
March 19, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCSD DEPUTY CONVICTED OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE ON WRONG SIDE OF ROAD WITH .24 BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL
*Defendant has a 2009 prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles County
SANTA ANA – An off-duty Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputy was convicted and sentenced Friday for driving under the influence of alcohol with a .24 blood alcohol level on the wrong side of the road toward an oncoming marked police vehicle. Mario Manuel Castro, 33, Orange, pleaded guilty to a court offer to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol with a prior, one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol .08 percent or more with a prior, and a sentencing enhancement allegation for having a blood alcohol level over .15 percent. The defendant has a prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles County in 2009. Castro was sentenced to 60 days in jail, five years of informal probation, and was ordered to complete an 18-month Multiple Offender Alcohol Program and attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel.
At approximately 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2011, Castro was driving under the influence of alcohol in the City of Orange after consuming several alcoholic beverages at a bar in Costa Mesa. The defendant was off-duty at the time of the crime and alone in his vehicle. He was driving on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic directly toward a marked Orange Police Department (OPD) patrol car.
When stopped by an OPD officer, the defendant displayed objective signs of alcohol intoxication including emitting strong odor of alcohol and extremely unsteady balance. Castro had a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.