EL DORADO COUNTY, CA – A Sacramento County deputy district attorney is facing drunk driving charges for the second time in El Dorado County, after getting into a car accident in October.
According to the Sacramento Bee, 58-year-old Alan Scott Hengel is charged with a DUI for the second time in his career as a Sacramento County deputy district attorney.
This month, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Hengel, alleging that he had a blood alcohol content of .10. The legal limit in California is .08.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Hengel was driving approximately 70 mph on westbound U.S. 50 in the area of Kyburz when he lost control of his vehicle going around a curve. The vehicle veered into oncoming traffic, hitting a truck head-on.
At the time of the accident, Hengel refused to submit to a DUI test and shifted the blame to the other driver.
According to the Bee, Hengel earns $144,000 a year and has been working with the District Attorney’s Office for the past 23 years. He is currently on the insurance fraud unit.
According to Sacramento County’s chief deputy district attorney, Steve Grippi , they are conducting their own investigation into the allegations.
“Our deputies are intimately aware of the law and know the dangers of DUI,” Grippi told the Bee.
Hengel has been uncooperative from the start and continues to make things worse. He originally told the Highway Patrol that Townsend was partially in his lane causing the accident. In the officer’s report, the officer stated that Hengel’s car hit Townsend’s truck in the eastbound lane then went back across the westbound lane and down an embankment.
The officer also stated that Hengel refused a breathalyzer test on the scene because Hengel didn’t believe that it was necessary. The officer noted Hengel had watery eyes and smelled of alcohol. Hengel had to submit to a blood test later at a local hospital where the results proved he was over the legal limit.
Making matters worse for the driver of the truck, Raphael Townsend of South Lake Tahoe, Hengel has remained uncooperative with his own insurance company, holding up the Townsend’s claims.
According to Townsend he suffered spine and neck injuries in the accident and has been able to take care of his medical bills.
Townsend told the Bee, “This has turned out to be quite a fiasco. You would hope he would do the right thing. Instead, he has just tried to make sure he doesn’t get in trouble.”
In 1997 Hengel was charged with a DUI, but was found not guilty. According to prosecutors Hengel was traveling along Sunrise Boulevard in his county-issued car when he got into an accident. He had just left the Sloughhouse Inn, a local bar.