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Off-duty O.C. sheriff's deputy is arrested on DUI charge after crashing twice within 30 minutes

March 5, 2010 |  3:02 pm

An off-duty Orange County sheriff’s deputy, who allegedly was intoxicated when he crashed his Mercedes-Benz into another vehicle and injured a passenger, had crashed 30 minutes earlier and was allowed to drive from that accident scene by fellow deputies, authorities said Friday.

Sheriff’s deputies were called Monday afternoon to a crash involving Deputy Allan James Waters, 36, and another vehicle outside City Hall in Dana Point. Deputies took a report and permitted Waters keep driving, said Assistant Sheriff Mike James.

About 30 minutes later, at 5:20 p.m., Waters crashed his Mercedes-Benz into a Toyota in Laguna Niguel, causing it to cross the center median and slam into a tree, according to the California Highway Patrol. Dolores Molina, a 78-year-old passenger in the Toyota, suffered minor injuries.

CHP officers said Waters showed signs of being intoxicated and was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was released Wednesday, according to jail records.

Waters is a 13-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, assigned to south Orange County, James said.

The department is conducting an internal investigation to determine why Waters was allowed to keep driving, James said.

Waters had been placed on administrative leave about two months ago, but James would not say why. He said the deputy will remain on leave while the investigations are conducted.

--Paloma Esquivel