Most DUI stops begin when an officer witnesses a traffic violation and attempts to pull a suspect over. The officer may also have noticed signs that the driver may be impaired and decide to try and initiate a stop. When a driver chooses to disregard this order and continues driving, they then can be charged with evading a police officer. This is one of those “wobbler” offenses that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If the DUI suspect also drives recklessly while trying to evade the officer, they may face a felony charge. If someone is injured or killed while trying to evade, the charges can become even more serious.
The Modesto Bee reports on a sheriff’s deputy that was killed while responding to help in a DUI chase.
45-year-old Antonio “Tony” Hinostroza died in a single-vehicle crash as he was responding to assist Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies who were involved in a chase in Riverbank.
The initial call came in at about 9:48 p.m. on November 24th, regarding a driver who appeared to be asleep behind the wheel of a Cadillac Escalade at Oakdale Road and Patterson Road.
When deputies arrived on the scene, the driver of the Cadillac pulled away, launching a chase. Deputies were able to deploy a spike strip to disable the car at the intersection of Fine Avenue and Cambridge Court in Modesto.
The driver ran from the disabled car. He began fighting with deputies, who deployed a non-lethal beanbag to subdue him and take him into custody.
As deputies were taking the suspect into custody, calls began coming in regarding a sheriff’s patrol vehicle that had crashed into a power pole at Terminal and Claribel. The vehicle belonged to Hinostroza.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene, but the deputy died of his injuries. Hinostroza had spent 19 years with the department and had been hired in 1999.