Hopkins v. Super. Ct.Annotate this Case
Petitioner was charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (a), and driving while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his blood in violation of Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (b). He pled not guilty, and moved for military diversion under Penal Code section 1001.80. Section 1001.80 authorizes a trial court to grant pretrial diversion to a defendant charged with a misdemeanor if the defendant was, or currently is, a member of the United States military and suffers from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of his or her military service. Based on the rules of statutory construction, the language of section 1001.80 and Vehicle Code section 23640, and the legislative history of section 1001.80, the court concluded that Vehicle Code section 23640 does not bar pretrial diversion for veterans or active duty members of the military who meet the criteria of section 1001.80 and are charged in a DUI case. The court urged the Legislature to act by amending section 1001.80 to express its intent with regard to military diversion in DUI cases. Therefore, the court discharged the order to show cause and ordered a peremptory writ of mandate directing the Appellate Division to vacate its order denying petitioner's petition for writ of mandate, and to make a new and different order granting the petition.