Man Faces Trial on 29th Drunken-Driving Charge
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) _ A man charged with drunken driving 29 times since 1950 faces his latest trial next month, and an activist cited his case Thursday as one that ″shows some major cracks in the judicial system.″
Conrado Madrid Galindo, 64, also is charged with carrying a loaded firearm and driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, said Deputy District Attorney Jim Kirkley.
If convicted on all charges, Galindo, who was arrested Jan. 28 when an officer noticed he was driving erratically, faces a maximum sentence of four years in county jail, said Don Flau, a probation officer. A municipal court trial in the case is to begin July 2.
Records compiled by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation reveal that Galindo, of San Bernardino, has had numerous run-ins with police since he was 16 and has been convicted on 23 of his 29 drunken- driving charges since 1950.
Arlene Joye, executive assistant to the president of the Los Angeles chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said Galindo’s case ″shows some major cracks in the judicial system that allows a person to go this many times with this many convictions without changing anything.″
MADD is a nationwide group that lobbies for laws to impose stiffer penalties on drunken drivers.
″This is pretty rare,″ Jon West, a California Highway Patrol spokesman in Los Angeles, said of Galindo’s lengthy record. ″Usually, they (drunken drivers) get stopped before then.″
Galindo’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Phyllis Morris, was in court Thursday and could not be reached, a secretary said.
Galindo’s case comes in the midst of what West calls the heaviest season for deaths and injuries caused by drivers who have been drinking alcohol.
In May and June, the rate nearly doubles during May and June, and the reason is believed to be the large number of high school and college graduation parties.
In a case similar to Galindo’s, Jerald Rene Perron, 52, was sentenced to a year and nine months in jail April 4 on his 27th drunken driving conviction. His case is on appeal.
Last November, a Culver City judge sentenced Gary Christopher, 38, of Los Angeles, to serve nine years and seven months for repeated drunken driving. Christopher has been convicted of drunken driving 28 times since 1966.
Last year, the CHP made 150,000 arrests for drunken driving, and West estimates that local police and sheriff’s deputies in the state made another 300,000. About half those were caused by motorists between the ages of 15 and 25, he said.