Salvatore Cordileone is a 56-year-old bishop in Oakland, California. He was pulled over at a checkpoint near San Diego State University at approximately 10pm while returning home from dinner with a few friends at his mother’s house. Officers suspected that he was impaired, and administered a breathalyzer field sobriety test. He was found to be over the limit and booked into the San Diego County jail at around midnight.
California’s DUI charge is the same as a Houston DWI charge, although their names differ slightly. Although the amount by which he surpassed the legal limit has still not been made public, he would not have passed a breathalyzer in Houston either because Texas and California both consider .08% blood alcohol content to be over the limit.
He has apologized emphatically for bringing shame upon his church and self. The Pope appointed him to be the next archbishop of San Francisco, which will take place on October 4th assuming that no disciplinary action takes place. The only party that could discipline him from within the Catholic church is the Vatican.
While Cordileone has apologized for his behavior and no doubt feels anxious about further disciplinary action from both the government and the Vatican, this incident may actually benefit the Bishop. Luckily none of the passengers in the car that he was driving were injured, but his momentarily lapse of judgment may actually help make this devout Christian more human in the eyes of his community.
Just like Texas, California has an implied consent law that requires anyone who has a driver’s license to submit to an alcohol or drug test if police officers suspect they are impaired. This means that Cordileone has already had his driver’s license suspended, and is facing certain jail time.
Houston DWI lawyers fight penalties similar to California’s DUI penalties, which Cordileone will soon be very familiar with if not already. If convicted, Cordileone will have to file proof of insurance, complete a DUI treatment program, have his driver’s license suspended for six months, pay substantial fines, and serve up to six months in jail.
Apologetic Cordileone and the forgiving Christian community who are supporting him (regardless of his very public mistakes), serve as a shining example of the human spirit. Cordileone is set to take a position of elevated responsibility within the Catholic church, which has created controversy considering the charges he faces. However, he retained his dignity in the face of this controversy by his honorable apologies to the public and the church. He seems honestly sorry for his actions, and the implications they may have on the reputation of his church.