Whitlock v. Superior Court in and for Siskiyou County

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Citation217 P.2d 158,97 Cal.App.2d 26
Decision Date17 April 1950
Parties. Civ. 7778. District Court of Appeal, Third District, California

Barr & Hammond, Yreka, Farrens & Maxwell, Klamath Falls, Or., U. S. Balentine, Klamath Falls, Or., for petitioner.

Fred W. Burton, District Attorney, Siskiyou County, Yreka, for respondents.

ADAMS, Presiding Justice.

On arraignment under an information charging a violation of section 501 of the Vehicle Code, petitioner moved to set the information aside on the ground that he had not been legally committed by a magistrate, and had been committed without reasonable or probable cause. The motion was denied and petitioner applied to this court for a writ of prohibition to restrain the trial court from taking any further steps in said action. A copy of the transcript of the proceedings in the magistrate's court was made a part of the petition. We issued an alternative writ to which respondent made no reply, nor any appearance on the hearing.

The charge before the committing magistrate was that petitioner had committed 'the crime of 501 C.V.C. (and 551 A C.V.C.)' and that he 'did willfully and unlawfully drive a veh. upon the public highway while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and was then and there involved in an accident causing bodily injury to persons other than himself'; and that he 'did also willfully and unlawfully fail to yield right of way to approaching car.'

Section 501 of the Vehicle Code under which it is conceded the complaint was based, provides: 'Any person who, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drives a vehicle and when so driving does any act forbidden by law or neglects any duty imposed by law in the driving of such vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person, is guilty of a felony * * *.'

Petitioner's contention is that the evidence adduced in support of this complaint, which complaint was made by a traffic officer, is insufficient to show that he was under the influence of intoxicating liquor at the time of the accident, and that it entirely fails to show that he did any act forbidden by law or neglected any duty imposed by law in the driving of his vehicle.

The accident occurred at a place called Calor, in front of the Calor Tavern, in Siskiyou County, about 2:00 a.m. on July 2, 1949. Petitioner was driving a Cadillac car, bound southward. A Mr. Bergeson was driving a Pontiac coupe, bound northward, accompanied by his wife and daughter. All three of the Bergesons were injured when the two cars collided. The right front fender and the grill of the radiator of Whitlock's car were damaged, as was the left front of Bergeson's coupe.

Officer Daniel, who was called to the scene of the accident and arrived there some twenty minutes after the accident, testified that on his arrival he saw the Bergeson car on the right side of the road, partly on the shoulder and partly on the pavement. Whitlock's car was in the parking lot of Calor Tavern. Fifteen or twenty other cars were parked there. Daniel testified that Whitlock said he had several drinks during the evening, that he had two at Calor Tavern after the accident. Daniel also said he could smell alcohol on Whitlock's breath, that his speech was somewhat slurred, he didn't seem able to stand up, did not walk straight, and more or less staggered, and in his opinion he was definitely under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

Daniel arrested Whitlock and took him to a Doctor Drader, in Dorris. The latter was the only other witness called. He testified that Whitlock's speech was a little slurred, but coherent, and that he had a fairly strong odor of alcohol; that he seemed to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor, but that he did not 'wobble,' and he would not say he was intoxicated.

There was no testimony as to how the accident occurred, and the arresting officer apparently drew inferences solely from the condition of the two cars, and...

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6 cases
  • Rogers v. Superior Court of Alameda County
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • December 29, 1955
    ...reasonable or probable cause. Greenberg v. Page 932 Superior Court, supra, 19 Cal.2d 319, 323, 121 P.2d 713; Whitlock v. Superior Court, 97 Cal.App.2d 26, 30, 217 P.2d 158; Jackson v. Superior Court, 98 Cal.App.2d 183, 189, 219 P.2d 879; Hall v. Superior Court, 120 Cal.App.2d 844, 850, 262 ......
  • Brooks v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • January 24, 1966
    ...be determined by a trial on the merits. (See also, Rogers v. Superior Court, 46 Cal.2d 3, 7, 291 P.2d 929; Whitlock v. Superior Court, 97 Cal.App.2d 26, 30, 217 P.2d 158; Callan v. Superior Court, 204 Cal.App.2d 652, 662, 22 Cal.Rptr. 508). It is not necessary that the evidence be strong en......
  • Jackson v. Superior Court of City and County of San Francisco
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • March 1, 1965
    ...v. Superior Court (1962) 204 Cal.App.2d 652, 662, 22 Cal.Rptr. 508 (conspiracy to commit grand theft); Whitlock v. Superior Court (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 26, 217 P.2d 158 (felony drunk driving); In re Jang (1938) 25 Cal.App.2d 529, 78 P.2d 250 (bribery).) But in no case so holding was the miss......
  • People v. Clenney, Cr. 3522
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 18, 1958
    ...additional unlawful act or neglect must be a proximate cause of the bodily injury.' To the same effect, see Whitlock v. Superior Court, 97 Cal.App.2d 26, where, at pages 29-30, 217 P.2d 158, at page 160, the court said: 'Assuming, but not deciding, that the evidence was sufficient to show t......
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