CHP officer’s DUI case headed to trial

November 27, 2012

Michael Shane Mallory

A California Highway Patrol officer who crashed his 2004 Ford Explorer in Arroyo Grande while allegedly under the influence of drugs may be headed to trial. [Noozhawk]

Michael Mallory, 37, who was acting as the public information officer for the CHP’s Santa Maria office at the time, was on his way to work at about 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 8 when he crashed his Ford Explorer into two parked cars. Police officers responding to the crash said Mallory seemed impaired and they conducted a field sobriety test. The test eliminated alcohol and drug use was suspected.

Mallory’s attorney, William Aron, told Noozhawk last month that his client’s blood screening — which originally came back negative for both drugs and alcohol — was positive for Ambien, a sedative and popular sleep aid.

Aron said that he and the San Luis Obispo County’s District Attorney’s Office have not been able to reach a settlement in the case, which he had hoped could be dropped. Both sides appeared in San Luis Obispo Superior Court last week.

“We did not resolve the case in court,” Aron told Noozhawk. “The DA’s office has not made an offer that is acceptable to my client.”

The prosecution hasn’t offered anything less than a DUI, Aron told Noozhawk.

The Santa Maria CHP did not place Mallory on administrative leave, though he is no longer the agency’s public information officer.

A trial setting conference has been set for Dec. 27 with a tentative trial date of Jan. 28.


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Cops have their professional life demands and their personal life contrass to manage. Having occational difficulty in sleeping doesn’t surprise me nor does the surprize in sleeping aids. Wish him well and hope he gets the support he needs as he is likely a good choice for his profession.

Wait a sec… Did anyone check to see if he had a legal prescription, and if he did, why not say so at the time?

The fact that the DA won’t settle makes me think not.



I feel very sorry for this Officer. Ambien is a bizarre and unpredictable sleep aide. I took ambien with no problems for a week and then one morning I woke up with a rug burn on my nose. I didn’t have a clue what happened until my husband told me that he woke up to a ruckus in our family room and he told me that he found me sleep walking and that I had somehow scraped my nose on something before he woke up. He said I argued with him and I didn’t want to go back to bed but he said I was hallucinating and insisting that we had company! I had no memory of any of it. I never took the drug again but I did some reading on it and learned that there are many reports (1000’s of reports) of people who wake up driving their car in their pajamas and don’t know how they got there or people wake up to find that they ate themselves out of house and home etc with no memory of it. It is a bizarre and scary drug with strange side effects. Don’t take ambien.

I agree with all your comment Cindy but the guy was on his way to work. Not the same.

Perhaps he took the medication later in the night and the effects lingered to the point it prohibited him from realizing he was even driving a vehicle?

I feel strongly that if someone is taking medication that may remotely effect their actions, impair their normal functions in any way, DON’T DRIVE! Other people should not have to risk losing their lives because of another’s inability to sleep.

Danika, glad to see someone not trying to excuse the man’s actions.

I would make one point on lingering effects. While I can’t speak for Ambien I did take Lunesta a few times a week for about a year and a half a few years back. If I took at bed time, I found no effects in the morning.

Since this person likely has at least one gun in the house, and since the the effects of this drug are unpredictable, I hope he locks up all his guns and makes sure even with the drugs effects can not access them

Another thing, if you read most meds. like NyQuil etc. almost all will say don’t operate heavy machinery or drive while taking.

There are many designer drugs out there currently that you can be under the influence of like “Spice” as an example. It wont show up on blood work or urinaylisis. Just a thought not saying he was on it. Although anything is possible.

DUI=automatic termination, permanent ban from LE work.

Yes. In a perfect world…

From Hmm carelessness. (Below)

Again I don’t say this makes him a bad man BUT people everyday make mistakes. Most don’t do it with intention. I don’t think the cop did this with intention. BUT where do we draw the line?


[mi-steyk] Show IPA noun, verb, mis·took, mis·tak·en, mis·tak·ing.



an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.

This to me is a no brainer. The defence will try to use the fact that Ambien is a legal drug. Fair enough. I say you take the fact that this guy is a cop, OUT of the equation and prosecute the same as John Q public.

If they let John Q off easy then fine. If not then get the same. Now I know some will say of course that is the way it will happen. Well I have noticed that those in power have special rules set aside for them that doesn’t always trickle down to us minion’s.

You need to get something straight. The special rules for those in power do not include line CHP officers or Cops or Fireman. Their special rules are, you are held to a higher standard than ” john Q”. You are not afforded the same rights as “John Q”. Instead of assuming the worst about these public servants, you should put yourself in their shoes and do what they do and give them the benefit of the doubt. Sounds like this gentlemen had a good record of service and something went wrong. Let’s see, they use to call them mistakes.

PLEASE. Yes in some cases they are held to a higher standard and in others they walk with a slap on the wrist. Sorry my friend that is what we call REALITY!! I’ll give you a for instance. I happen to know of a nice little card that both cops and wifes of, can carry to show in case they get pulled over for speeding. Hmm no speacial treatment there huh?

Really, the wives of cops carry a card?? that is so stupid you have no idea what you are talking about. Cops carry cards..yes they are called department ID cards. they have to have those on them if they are carrying a firearm. They basically act as the officer’s CCW permit, without it they could be in violation of dept policy.

Some police force and fire department staff also carry business cards. The floozy-mongerer Sheriff who $crewed the (dispatcher) wife of one of his fellow officers probably had a business card because he did public relations work for the Sheriffs Department.

My brother-in-law was an LA County deputy sheriff, quickly advanced through the ranks, and he carried LACoSD business cards throughout most of his career. My sister always had his current business card and, yes, she flashed it when she got pulled over.

Thanks Mary. That is what I think it was, was a business card. Mr. I know everything Truth Hurts was quick to jump my post.

I didn’t come up with this myself. It was talking to a cop and his wife that I know. Just saying what they told me. Not the type that tell stories. I do like your ridiculus sarcasm. It was good for a laugh.

Or how about the CHP Captain in Templeton found in car on back road drunk? Again no specail treatment huh? Yea you need to take off your rose colored glasses.

BTDT, good call. I forgot about that one.

How about Paso Robles (ex) Police Chief Lisa Solomon? By the time they got rid of her, there were multiple law suits either already filed, or in the process of being filed.

Yet she STILL got a $250,000-PLUS pay off (NOT accrued leave time, but a PAY OFF) to get rid of her. AND she gets to collect her pension.

I’d call that a reward for being an absolute failure of a police chief and a complete liability nightmare, that drove away several good officers because of her sexual harassment and illegal department policies (ticket quotas).

Oh and benifit of the doubt. There was a mother about mid forties and from what I remember no priors, on way home from happy hour after work about three years ago in Nipomo. She hit and killed another driver around Teft st. from what I recall. She was an outstanding citizen till then. What do you do then?

I’m not saying put the cop away and or fire him BUT there needs to be punishment if found guilty. Jail time or community service? Suspened without pay for a couple weeks or month? WHY do we need to look the other way? Your aurgument that he is a public servent that desevers some special treatment doesn’t make any logical sence. Do we then start letting everyone off? Again not that any of these people need sever (unless someone injured) treatment but to let off the hook entirely? NO!!

slojustice, your opinions on this issue sound like JohnRyanMason thinking.

First-responders should be (but often are not) held at a higher standard of personal conduct than are John Q. Public. They are entrusted with much more power, and much more power to harm JQP than members of JQP are. In addition, in most cases a condition for employment of first-responders, et al., is that they adhere to a code of ethics.

Most first-responder government agencies/organizations require first responders, as a condition of their employment, to adhere to a certain code of ethics. Two of the SLO City Fire Department’s Code of Ethics ( require:

“I freely accept this responsibility of public trust, both on and off duty, dedicating myself with the utmost integrity to serve the citizens of San Luis Obispo, the fire department and my peers, so help me God.”

In the “Code of Ethics” document, in the “CORE VALUES” list:

HONOR: I accept the enormous commitment necessary to perform the Department tasks requiring excellence of character. We inspire each other through pride in our Department, which is a believe that every action reflects on all the members of the Department, both past and present.”

Mason’s history and character don’t even come close to meeting the SLOFD’s Code of Ethics, but are closer to a violent male dog in heat.

He has a history of having multiple affairs (sometimes with his fellow first-responders’ wives), and publicly beating down civilians, always being the aggressor and delivering the beatdown to his civilian victims. The beatdown for which he was arrested was because he did not like the fact that a civilian had publicly stated his unhappiness with Mason’s cockholding Mason’s neighbor by $crewing the neighbor’s wife. Worse, once Mason had beat his victim so severely the victim had multiple facial fractures, requiring multiple plate-and-screw fixations, Mason RAN AWAY SO HE WOULD NOT GET CAUGHT. He did not even bother to alert other first responders that there was a beaten, unconscious man, lying on a dirty mens bathroom floor, with his face beat to a pulp.

Yet Mason got away with it because of a “mistrial.” The fact that one of the jurors was a SLO City FD member shows you the kind of “fairness” the victim got in court, and the kind of favoritism that the firefighters get.

Yeah, the law-enforcement/first responders don’t get the same treatment as JQP—they get SPECIAL and BETTER treatment by the law.

BTDT, I disagree with your idea that the defense attorney will try to use, as a defense for Mallory’s DUK, the fact that Ambien is a legal drug. But I definitely agree with your opinion that, for the charge of driving under the influence, his case should be treated like he was John Q. Public.


Regarding Ambien being a legal drug being used by the defense attorney, and Ambien’s impact on a DUI charge……

Consumption of alcohol is perfectly legal, and you don’t need a prescription. However, people are routinely arrested, charged, tried and convicted for “driving under the influence” of alcohol.

For “driving under the influence,” the issue isn’t what compound was consumed . The issue isn’t that the compound was consumed . The issue is a compound was consumed and the person was still intoxicated or otherwise impaired when they drove.

An issue that I’ve not read discussed is whether or not the Ambien was prescribed by a physician for officer Mallory. I think that will play a strong point in deciding the case, especially if it comes to civil suit.

However, there are several other issues that impact this case, and Mallory’s attorney may try to use them to show that Mallory was not in control of his own intoxication from taking Ambien.