A battalion chief of a small community in Riverside County, California, was arrested late last Thursday for a DUI violation that left four injured. Murrieta’s Alan Long, who is 44 years old, crashed into the back of car carrying four high-school cheerleaders and was booked on suspicion of DUI causing bodily injury, say DUI attorneys in the town. One of the cheerleaders had to be taken to hospital but is expected to make a full recovery soon.

Alan Long issued an apology two days ago for causing the crash. His DUI attorney however continue to maintain that Long was not drunk when the accident happened and that since his BAC was below the legal limit, he has not committed a crime. This may just be some sloppy driving on Long’s part.

Long helped injured teens

The crash occurred at Jefferson and Lily avenues in Murrieta, which is southwestern Riverside County. According to police reports, a full size truck had rear ended a passenger vehicle that was carrying four high-school students from Murrieta Valley High School, aged 14-17. The girls suffered injuries in the accident which have been described as “moderate to major”, according to a statement released by the police department.

Post the accident, the police officers tried to contact the owner of the vehicle. The driver, Mr. Alan Long, showed signs and symptoms consistent with alcohol impairment say the police. Mr. Long was asked to take some field sobriety tests, and officers at the scene determined that he was in fact impaired enough to have never gotten behind the wheel.

Hopefully he does not lose his job over this because California is not exactly leading the way out of this recession.

Alan Long hit some cheerleaders while driving.

A noble citizen?

This is however contested vehemently by Long’s DUI attorney Virginia Blumenthal. The lawyer maintains that though Long failed his field sobriety tests, Long’s BAC never crossed the legal limit and that he was within his rights to have been driving that night. Blumenthal also says that Long, who is battalion chief with the Anaheim Fire Department, provided medical aid to the teens after the crash.

Out on bail, waiting for a definitive result

Long was arrested and taken to Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, where he was released on Friday after posting a $50,000 bail. Police are still awaiting blood test results on the mayor, as he cleared the breathalyzer tests that he was asked to take. One of the girls involved in the crash is still in hospital while the entire community waits for a definitive verdict on Long’s guilt. She is however expected to make a full recovery soon, and her injuries are not severe enough to leave any permanent effect.

His DUI attorney is trying her best to save face, and Long’s apology too is a top-notch PR strategy, but everything now depends on the blood test results that residents in Murrieta are awaiting. Residents in Murrieta offered mixed reactions to the news of Long’s DUI; while some were ready to forgive him for a one-off offense, others took a more critical stance. Will this be the one error in judgment that will put Long out of a job? Only time will tell.