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Driver Drank Heavily Before Crash, Jury Told

January 24, 1987|LEONEL SANCHEZ | Times Staff Writer

Dane Heftved, on trial for felony drunk driving after an accident that injured the president of the Orange County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and three other people, had been "drinking heavily" the night of the accident, a prosecutor said Friday.

"He had been drinking heavily and was driving a car at a very high rate of speed and then rear-ended a van going 45 miles per hour," Deputy Dist. Atty., Priscilla Cloud said in her opening statement in Heftved's trial in West Orange County Superior Court in Westminster.

A blood test administered after the crash showed a .35% alcohol content in Heftved's bloodstream, Cloud said. A driver is presumed to be under the influence if such a test shows .10% or more.

Heftved's attorney, Joel W. Baruch, told the jury that his client should be convicted of no more than misdemeanor drunk driving because the injuries sustained by the victims were not serious enough to warrant a felony conviction.

Heftved, of Costa Mesa, could get a maximum of six years in prison if he is convicted of felony drunk driving. He could get only a year in jail if he is convicted of a misdemeanor, Cloud said.

Heftved has been convicted of drunk driving in Orange County three times--in 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Cloud told the jury that four of the victims of the accident will testify: Charles and Diane Hahne, Michael J. Detrich and Laurie McCarthy, president of the local chapter of MADD. Detrich was Heftved's passenger. All four suffered minor injuries in the accident on Sept. 21, 1986, Cloud said.

Heftved, 27, also was slightly injured. He is currently in custody at the Orange County Jail.

McCarthy, 41; her husband, William, 42, and the Hahnes were returning to their homes in Huntington Beach when the Dodge sedan driven by Heftved struck them from behind as both vehicles were moving north on Placentia Avenue, near Hamilton Street, police said.

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