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DUI sentence doubled for O.C. deputy who showed up to court drunk

July 1, 2011 |  1:16 pm

Photo: Allan James Waters. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office An Orange County judge, ruling in the case of a former sheriff's deputy who previously showed up drunk in court to face a DUI charge, on Friday doubled the man's sentence to 32 months in prison.

Allan James Waters, 38, could have received 16 months in state prison for his conviction, but an offer from the judge was withdrawn after the former deputy appeared in court last month under the influence of alcohol.

James has been in custody since June 10 after a judge determined he was not fit to be sentenced.

The Laguna Niguel resident pleaded guilty April 7 to felony driving under the influence causing bodily injury, two felony counts of selling a substance in lieu of cocaine, nine felony counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury to a 78-year-old woman.

Prosecutors said he traded fake cocaine for prescription medication in the month after the March 2010 collision.

During the June 10 hearing, court bailiffs noticed Waters was showing signs of intoxication, including unsteady balance and emitting an odor of alcohol. As a term of Waters’ $100,000 bail, he was prohibited from consuming alcohol.

Prosecutor Brock Zimmon requested an increase in bail, and Waters was taken back into custody on $250,000 bail.

The judge postponed the sentencing but no additional charges were filed for this incident, as the level of intoxication did not rise to the legal standard for a crime.

At Friday’s hearing, Judge Frank Fasel withdrew his previous sentencing offer of 16 months in state prison, based on the defendant’s conduct at the previous hearing and out of concern for public safety.

The judge informed Waters the sentence offer was being increased to two years, eight months, and told him he had the right to change his plea back to “not guilty."

Waters accepted the court’s new offer.

The Orange County district attorney’s office alleged that on nine occasions between March 2009 and March 2010, Waters went to eight different doctors to obtain prescription drugs for opana and oxycodone.

They charged he gave doctors false stories to illegally obtain the drugs.

When one doctor would stop providing a prescription for the defendant, Waters moved on to a new doctor, according to prosecutors. Waters’ doctor-shopping scheme was uncovered after two auto accidents on the same day.

On March 1, 2010, Waters was driving south on Golden Lantern Street in Dana Point and crashed into the back of a vehicle that had stopped at a red light in front of him.

Deputies responded to the scene and released Waters, whom they knew was a deputy, and the other driver about 30 minutes after taking a report.

Just seven minutes after leaving the scene of the first crash, Waters nearly got into another collision as he drove erratically. Multiple drivers called 911 to report his driving.

But before authorities could respond, he swerved and hit the curb before crossing over the middle lane and collided with a vehicle driven by a 78-year-old woman. She required back surgery for her injuries.

Investigators determined his speech was slurred, he lacked balance and he had trouble following directions.

He was arrested by the California Highway Patrol and later determined to be under the influence of prescription drugs zolpidem and hydrocodone.

Orange County sheriff’s detectives became aware of the drug issues.

Over the next month, Waters met a friend after arranging to receive opana and Oxycontin from her in exchange for money and cocaine.

Prosecutors said he provided the friend with a fake white powdery substance under the pretense that it was cocaine.


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Allan James Waters. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office