San Joaquin Judge Censured For Misconduct Over DUI

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a San Joaquin County Judge has been censured after a DUI crash in January.

Court documents indicate that on January 1, 2022,  San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Mulvihill was driving his SUV at a high rate of speed in Stockton near the Calaveras River when he lost control of his vehicle as he approached the bridge. Mulvihill swerved and crashed into a curb and fencing along the roadway. 

Mulvihill attempted to flee the scene but was prevented from doing so by eyewitnesses of the incident. At one point, he told bystanders that he was a truck driver and that it would be “extra bad” for him to stay. Unable to convince those at the scene to allow him to get back into his vehicle, he left on foot. One of the eyewitnesses went after Judge Mulvihill and convinced him to return to the crash scene.

When officers with the Stockton Police Department arrived at the scene, Mulvihill told them that he had been texting and driving. When the officers asked him if he had been drinking before the crash, he told them he had had two beers.

A blood test taken three hours after the incident indicated that Mulvihill had a blood–alcohol level of 0.25 percent – more than three times the legal limit of .08 percent.

Judge Mulvihill pleaded no contest to the charge of DUI. In June, he was sentenced to 10 days in jail and three years of probation. 

On Thursday, October 27, the Commission of Judicial Performance acknowledged that Judge Mulvihill had fully cooperated with the Commission’s investigation and proceedings. 

Also at issue during the proceedings, the Commission criticized Mulvihill because of an incident involving some “discourteous remarks toward a litigant” in his court. 

The Commission said in a statement: “Judge Mulvihill’s conduct reflects poorly on his integrity, negatively impacts the public’s perception of him, and of the judiciary in general, and is seriously at odds with the canons and expected judicial behavior.” 

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