A status hearing was scheduled in Riverside County Superior Court this week in the Rodney King DUI case. Prosecutors sought two counts of misdemeanor DUI charges against King after a July 12 arrest. Authorities admit that King registered 0.06 percent blood alcohol concentration after the arrest.
The defendant did not personally appear at the court hearing. He waived his right to be personally present and his attorney appeared on his behalf. At the hearing, King pled guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving in relation to the allegations from last summer. The plea agreement with prosecutors, commonly called a “wet reckless” deal was entered into the record at the status hearing. Authorities say that a blood test also showed a trace of marijuana in King’s system following his arrest.
King was previously convicted in 2003 of a DUI drug charge based upon allegations that he was under the influence of PCP while driving in Claremont in September 2001. In the current DUI case, the accused was facing up to a year in jail, if convicted of the DUI charges.
Under a negotiated plea agreement, King was sentenced to 20 days of monitored house arrest. He will spend three years on summary probation and must pay a fine and complete a nine-month sobriety-education program. In exchange for the plea to a lesser charge, the prosecutor dropped the two counts of misdemeanor DUI.
Prosecutors reportedly had planned to pursue the DUI charges, despite the defendant’s 0.06 percent BAC reading. Authorities claim that they were prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was above the legal limit at the time he was driving on the night of the arrest in Moreno Valley. At times, prosecutors seek to use a process commonly referred to as “retrograde extrapolation” to guess what a prior alcohol level may have shown based upon a variety of variable factors, including a chemical test taken after an arrest.
Source: KTLA, “Rodney King Gets House Arrest For Reckless Driving,” Feb. 28, 2012