Partridge Family actor David Cassidy was arrested on Friday, January 10, 2014, by the California Highway Patrol under suspicion of drinking and driving. Cassidy, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, was stopped for making an illegal turn in Los Angeles and when the officer approached the car, the smell of alcohol was coming from Cassidy’s vehicle. A later breathalyzer showed that Cassidy had a blood alcohol level of 0.19%, more than two times higher than the legal limit. He was released on Saturday morning on a $15,000 bail.
Putting Cassidy’s high BAC in context, a normal sized man who is 180 pounds would have to consume around 8 drinks an hour to get a .19% BAC. In order to wait off such a high BAC to drive safely, Cassidy would have had to wait for at least 8 hours between his last drink and getting behind the wheel. For a BAC of 0.20%, which is very close to the 0.19% BAC Cassidy had, he would have had difficulty walking, probably wouldn’t have felt much pain if he was injured and most likely would have blacked out.
This is Cassidy’s third DUI in just over three years. In November 2010, Cassidy was arrested in Florida and pled no-contest as a first time offender. Later, in August 2013, Cassidy was again arrested in New York, making this latest arrest the second DUI arrest he’s had in six months.
The consequences for a multiple time DUI offender who gets arrested again are very severe and often involve jail time and loss of a driver’s license for an extended period of time. Under California law, the courts can look back ten years for other DUI’s when determining a sentence, meaning that this would be considered Cassidy’s third DUI if he is convicted. He is almost sure to face some jail time and high fines, along with possibly losing his license and having an interlock device installed.
For a third DUI, Cassidy faces between 120 days and one year in jail and fines up to $18,000. He also faces at least a three year suspension if his driver’s license. He faces having to take a 30 day alcohol treatment program because this is his third offense and will most likely have to take another alcohol program to get his license back. Because Cassidy had a BAC of over .15%, he also faces additional penalties on top of the standard DUI penalties for if he had a BAC of .08% and .014%
While an interlock device isn’t required under California Law, he may have to get one anyway, especially because of his history of having an arrest in New York from back in August. Under New York law, all DUI offenders have to have an interlock device installed, meaning that even if California didn’t require it for his third arrest, New York will almost certainly require it for his second one if he is convicted for the August arrest.
The penalty that Cassidy will face in California is somewhat stricter than he would have faced if he was arrested in his home state of Florida, except when it comes to losing his license. For a third offense under Florida law, Cassidy would have faced a 30 day to 1 year jail sentence, a fine of $4,000 (not the regular $2,000 because of his high BAC) to $5,000 and a minimum of a 10 year license revocation.
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