ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 18, 2011
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff, Office: 714-347-8408, Cell: 714-292-2718
Farrah Emami, Spokesperson, Office: 714-347-8405, Cell: 714-323-4486
OCSD DEPUTY CHARGED WITH DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE WITH .24 BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL ON WRONG SIDE OF ROAD
SANTA ANA – An off-duty Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputy was charged today with 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, is charged with 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. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail. Castro is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 16, 2011, at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. The time and Department are to be determined.
At approximately 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2011, Castro is accused of 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 is his vehicle. He is accused of driving on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic directly toward a marked Orange Police Department (OPD) patrol car.
After being stopped by an OPD officer, the defendant is accused of displaying objective signs of alcohol intoxication including emitting strong odor of alcohol and extremely unsteady balance. Castro is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
*Defendant has a 2009 prior conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles County.