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‘Burrito defense’ fails: Burlingame driver arrested for DUI after deputy’s car struck
July 10, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

An intoxicated driver who reportedly blamed his rear-ending of a sheriff’s vehicle in San Mateo on looking down at a burrito was sentenced Wednesday to 32 months in prison.

Robert Vern Calkins, 53, of Burlingame, has credit of 256 days against the term and must serve 80 percent of the rest, leaving him about eight months left to finish in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

He was sentenced as a second-striker because he was convicted in a 1987 robbery using a firearm.

Calkins crashed into the car driven by a sheriff’s sergeant on North Amphlett Boulevard while reportedly traveling 75 mph to 80 mph Nov. 29, 2013. The sergeant was hospitalized with back pain and Calkins was also taken to a hospital after being unable to perform field sobriety tests.

Responding police officers reported seeing “numerous” empty beer cans in Calkins car and a “puddle of beer” on the driver’s side floorboard, according to prosecutors. At the hospital, an officer reported overhearing Calkins laughingly telling a CT technician that he was drunk and had been looking down at his burrito when he crashed.

In May, Calkins pleaded no contest to felony drunk driving causing injury and admitted causing great bodily injury and having a prior felony strike conviction. In return, he was promised no more than 32 months in prison.

He returns to court July 25 for a restitution hearing.



Tags: calkins, months,

Other stories from today:

Juror booted for filming
War of words over Burlingame pool
Police reports

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