Fred’s Coffee Shop (otherwise known as “Fred’s Place”) on Bridgeway in Sausalito is a local favorite. Bay area residents and visitors flock to Fred’s just about every day of the week, especially to try their famous “Millionaire’s Bacon.” However, at least 3 patrons seated outside the restaurant, sipping their morning coffee at about 9 a.m. were rightly surprised to see a car flying toward them posthaste. Thankfully, no one sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident, but the driver (20) (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) was arrested on several different charges, all the result of an incident involving domestic violence, grand theft, cruelty to a child, committing a felony while still on bail for a first felony, resisting arrest, and charges of reckless driving.
In the state of California, the crime of reckless driving (CA Vehicle Code 23103) is always a misdemeanor; it is defined as the purposeful disregard for the safety of others while driving a vehicle. Penalties are quite strict. If you are convicted of a crime pursuant to CA VC 23103, you could face up to a $1,000 fine and a maximum of 90 days in county jail. However, if you caused anyone serious injury or death, then either other charges (like manslaughter) would apply or the fine and term of imprisonment would increase accordingly. Not only were the roadside patrons at Fred’s Place a lucky bunch, but the driver himself is lucky not to have more seriously injured anyone who happened to be sitting there at the time.