Actor Chris Kattan, well known for his roles on SNL and Night at the Roxbury, was arrested around 2 am last night for suspicion of drunk driving. He was arrested after an anonymous 911 caller notified police about a Mercedes swerving in the 101 freeway. His vehicle later crossed into a coned area, and collided with a cal trans vehicle.
This is another unfortunate incident, which shows us again that celebrities are not super-human. As the story has been reported, there appears to be a lot of evidence suggesting Mr. Kattan was too impaired to drive. Now, his case will be heard in the Van Nuys courthouse, which is notorious for being very strict with DUI cases.
The City Attorney’s Office will likely be the agency to prosecute this case. This office is known for being very tough on DUI defendants. Now that it appears Mr. Kattan was seen swerving and moments later was involved in a traffic collision with a cal trans vehicle, the City Attorney’s Office will likely go forward with a prosecution. Even though we don’t know the alleged BAC level, given this driving pattern, the prosecutor may file a DUI charge under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), even if Mr. Kattan was below .08%.
Also, the 911 call will likely be admitted into evidence based on California case law. An “anonymous tipster” may contact 911 to report a drunk driver and the audio recording may potentially be used against Mr. Kattan, even if the caller is anonymous. The key is whether the 911 call properly identified Mr. Kattan’s vehicle description, location, and whether the call describes a driving pattern that is sufficient to give an officer probable cause to stop the car.
A DUI attorney could potentially have a major impact on this case. If Mr. Kattan was not a celebrity, a common person in this same situation would be facing a jail offer from the prosecutor. Even though this is potentially a first offense DUI, the combination of facts and the location of the incident could cause someone to end up in jail, unless they have a skilled DUI attorney to defend them. This is why it is critical to hire a local DUI attorney, for anyone facing DUI charges in the Van Nuys courthouse.