Jury convicts Soledad man of DUI


SOLEDAD — After a two-day trial, a jury found 26-year-old Luis Vera Morga of Soledad guilty of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol on Aug. 31.

On May 4, 2019, at about 10:47 p.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Eutimio Toral was traveling on southbound Highway 101, south of Hudson Road, when he observed a black vehicle with its headlights on and stopped on the shoulder of the roadway.

Toral conducted a welfare check and contacted the driver, identified as Morga.

“Officer Toral immediately smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from within the vehicle,” according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office in a news release Sept. 9. “Mr. Morga admitted to driving to that location and to drinking four to five cans of Lagunitas IPAs at his residence before driving.”

A DUI investigation was conducted, and Morga completed several Field Sobriety Tests, which “he did not perform satisfactorily,” the DA’s Office stated. Samples of his breath yielded results of 0.16, or twice the legal blood alcohol content limit to drive.

Monterey County Judge Heidi K. Whilden presided over the trial and will sentence Morga on Sept. 14, at which time his prior DUI conviction will be proven to the court. He faces a maximum sentence of five years’ probation and one year in jail.

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A staff member edited this provided article.


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