H-SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Oct 4, 2012 8:46 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

DUI-charged CHP Officer had Ambien in system, says attorney

The attorney for a Santa Maria California Highway Patrol officer charged with driving under the influence of drugs, said on Thursday that his client tested positive for the prescription sleep aid Ambien.

William Aron, attorney for 37-year old Mike Mallory, said he doesn't believe the Ambien tracing will be enough for a DUI prosecution. Aron also said he hopes to have things settled with the San Luis Obispo County prosecutors by next month.

"His blood was screened for Ambien, and there was a presence of Ambien, however we can't really ascertain at this time if it's a sufficient amount to constitute intoxication. And, even so, we don't know if prosecution can meet the threshold of proceeding with the DUI prosecution," said Aron.

Mallory, who also served as the public information officer for the Santa Maria CHP office, was arrested on August 8 in Arroyo Grande after he crashed into two parked cars. He was off duty at the time of the crash. He entered a not guily plea last month after testing negative for both drugs and alcohol in an initial drug screening. But, the Arroyo Grande Police Chief said Mallory was definitely impaired at the time of the crash.

Last month, Aron was asked what prompted Mallory to crash into two parked cars, and he said, according to a statement given to the arresting officer at the scene, that he was adjusting items in the passenger seat, diverting his attention from the road.

Aron said on Thursday that the prosecution has received in-car video and audio from the Arroyo Grande Police arresting officers. It's unclear yet how that evidence will affect the case.

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