Los Osos DUI driver hit, killed pedestrian

June 24, 2015
Dennis Whittinghill

Dennis Whittinghill

An elderly pedestrian who was struck by a Los Osos man in San Luis Obispo on Friday, was removed from life support and died peacefully Monday evening.

Shortly before 6 p.m. on Friday, Dennis Whittinghill, 63, of Los Osos, was making a turn onto Higuera Street from Broad Street when he hit Alvino Figueroa, 89, of Redlands. Emergency personnel then transported Figueroa to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

Officers arrested Whittinghill for felony DUI and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail. He was released on bail shortly after the accident.

Because of Figueroa’s death, the San Luis Obispo Police Department has asked the district attorney’s office to consider filing additional charges.

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I hope he is charged with vehicular manslaughter. He made a choice to drink and drive, and now he must choose to accept the consequences. Some people do whatever they have to/need to do to get that drink. The drink is above all else.

A man lost his life, and I am very sorry to his family and friends.

If you’re going to drink, drink at home and stay there. Like Me! (; ) Just popped open a nice Chard

Wait till the Conservative posters on this site find out about the driver’s political affiliations. On your mark … get set …

Once again; inexpensive tech to prevent starting a car when alcohol is detected exists. Saab, just before GM let them go belly up, was going to offer a $200 upgrade to their electronic key fob that measured driver’s breath before allowing car to start.

They get a friend or someone standing by to blow into the device. It’s hardly a solution to drunk driving. In Sweden, they take away the person’s car; not just their driver’s license. Drunk driving was responsible for almost 80% of the accidents with serious injuries so Sweden enacted tough laws; the 2nd conviction will result in a year in jail. That has reduced the problem significantly.

When I read that Mr. Figueroa was 89 years old, I was certain that he would not survive such serious injuries. I hope that he was unconscious or sedated and his pain was being properly controlled. Our hearts go out to him and his family.

My father was a trauma surgeon. He used to say that crosswalks should be called “pedestrian kill zones”. Stop signs and red lights don’t stop cars; brakes stop cars. People must never forget that they are in serious danger every time that they step into the street; assume that the driver hasn’t seen you.

It’s interesting that we encourage drinking with wine festivals and wine tasting and lots of advertising while vineyards suck up our water and drinking drivers are all over the place. Most of the vineyards are using the Williamson Act to reduce their taxes to the county, and none of their tax revenues go to the cities.

Then, we have no residential drug and alcohol treatment centers in the entire county, something that our wine industry could help subsidize as a meager pay back to the county folkes.

It’s the almighty tourist dollar that is important to our city and county leaders–not the loss of lives in car accidents and people destroying themselves from drug and alcohol addictions.

All the wine festivals and tasting rooms counsel people to avoid driving and very few drivers are arrested or involved in a traffic incident after wine tasting or festivals.

The wineries use water to create income and jobs for many people. They are also considered to be part of “us”. They pay plenty in property taxes, income taxes, alcohol taxes, fuel taxes, etc…

They are not responsible for the county not having effective public health care. Why not tax ALL alcohol sales to fund alcohol/drug abuse treatment centers? We also make beer in the county and the vast majority of alcohol consumed in SLO County is produced elsewhere. Beer is the number one product involved in drunk driving.

Very few alcoholics drink the high quality wine and beer made in SLO county. The 18th Amendment was repealed in 1931 and a huge majority of Americans oppose Prohibition. If you don’t like alcohol, don’t consume it. But, give up on prohibition. You are part of a small minority.

Oh c’mon, Johnny, I call bullshit! “Counsel not to drive”…Riiight…have some of this wine…oh try this one…but don’t drive home…you can camp in your car…suuure.. Very few drivers arrested? Sure, no cops around. They can have multiple agencies, dozens of cops, tens of thousands of dollars to harass 420 festival attendees, but where are they at the wine festivals? How many drivers could they bust if they set up a stop? Never know, because it never happens…

And how would you know what alcoholics drink? You think think they are all homeless bums? Get a clue, Chump….

Hey, dude, the official line is “don’t leave now, chill out and have another drink.”

Who said anything about prohibition? As for the rest of your silly screed, apparently you haven’t been to any of the wineries and seen the bibulous boisterous obnoxious bimmer tourists carrying on. Drunk is drunk.

He doesn’t look like a wine drinker to me. More like bourbon, I’d guess.

Unfortunately, Mr. Figueroa’s death was the result of a violent crash caused by an alleged drunk driver…I doubt he died peacefully. My condolences to the family and loved ones.

How do people get into a car after drinking? Duh…..they fill up somewhere along the way and then drive off! Surely, someone sees them drunk before? Is it possible to stop the flow of alcohol to drivers? This is such a sad story.


Many times, when people get into the car they are not yet heavily intoxicated. The alcohol in their stomach continues to enter their bloodstream and they get more intoxicated as they drive on. That is a major reason that people should wait at least one hour after their last drink before they determine if they are able to drive.

Other people have their judgement and decision making disrupted because they are very intoxicated before they even decide to drive. Intoxication badly impacts people’s judgement.

And some people just don’t care about others, so drive drunk anyway. Same thing as texting while driving. Oh, can hardly wait for the thumbs down on that zinger!