Thomas Gibson, an actor known for his role as “Greg” on Dharma and Greg was arrested today for DUI. Gibson was driving in downtown Los Angeles when authorities said he drove through a barricade set up for a nighttime run through the downtown area. There were no injuries as a result of his driving through the barricades set up to kep runners safe from cars on the road.
Prosecutors are always reluctant to reduce or dismiss DUI charges when there is any type of an accident. Often prosecutors and judges take the position that, but for the alcohol consumption, the accident never would have happened.
I feel a bit differently about this topic. Car accidents do happen. They happen to all of us. The issue is one of what we call “causation”, or who caused the accident. Just because someone has been drinking does not mean they were the cause of an accident.
In Gibson’s case, the evidence does not look particularly good for him as there appears to have only been one car involved in the accident here. Nonetheless, DUI cases with traffic collisions pose problems for prosecutors. First, the driving is not often witnessed by a police officer. Second, the test for blood alcohol is often delayed due to a delay in police response to the situation. Finally, if the traffic collision is not the fault of the DUI arrestee, then there is no proof of bad driving.
We must remember that here in the United States we are all innocent unless and until we are proven guilty or admit guilt in a court of law. It is the prosecutors job to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Please do not admit you are guilty unless you talk to a lawyer about your rights.
If you have questions about a DUI arrest or any other criminal law matter, call me, Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me: