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Prosecutor with DUI convictions faces losing law license

A former prosecutor is on the verge of losing his law license for two years for multiple drunk driving convictions and trying to use his position to avoid arrest.

On Feb. 13, the State Bar Court recommended that Marc Anthony Guillory [bar # 214098] be suspended for two years for three misdemeanor convictions for driving under the influence and a fourth for driving recklessly with alcohol in his system. A former assistant district attorney with the San Bernardino and San Francisco district attorneys’ offices, Guillory prosecuted and settled more than 100 DUI cases. His suspension does not go into effect until it is approved by the California Supreme Court.

In her decision, Judge Pat McElroy said Guillory showed flagrant disregard for the safety of others” each time he drove while intoxicated.

“As a former DA, who prosecuted DUIs, respondent is well aware of the wide swath of death, pain, grief and untold physical and emotional injury that the drunk driver cuts across the roads of California and the rest of this country,” McElroy wrote. “The monstrous proportions of the problem have been lamented in graphic terms by the courts.”

Although statistics are not available on how many attorneys who are disciplined by the State Bar have substance abuse problems, experience has shown that the two issues are often linked, said Richard Carlton, acting director of the State Bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program.

Lawyers dealing with substance abuse, stress and other issues can seek help through the program, he said. For more information, watch a video overview of the program or call 877-527-4435.

Guillory’s offenses date back to 1999, before he became a lawyer, when he was behind the wheel in an alcohol-related crash that killed his first cousin. Guillory and his cousin were leaving a party at night when Guillory struck a bus that had broken down in the lane in front of him. Guillory was taken to the police station where, more than two hours after the crash, his blood-alcohol content measured .06. He pleaded no contest to driving recklessly with alcohol in his system.

Admitted to the practice of law in 2001, Guillory was pulled over for traffic violations in December 2007, when an officer suspected he was under the influence. When asked for his driver’s license, Guillory gave the officer his assistant district attorney’s identification badge instead. He was found to have a blood alcohol level of .18 – more than twice the legal limit – and was convicted of misdemeanor drunken driving in February 2008.

Guillory was still on probation when he was again arrested for driving under the influence on Dec. 30, 2009. When the officer asked Guillory for his driver’s license, he again presented his assistant district attorney’s badge. Guillory, who had a blood alcohol level of .15, pleaded no contest on March 23, 2010 to driving under the influence with a prior conviction.

Guillory’s fourth conviction resulted from a Dec. 24, 2011 incident in which he was found passed out in his car at a traffic intersection with the engine running and his foot on the brake pedal. The following year, he pleaded no contest to driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.

In suspending Guillory, McElroy rejected his argument that his drinking was situational, brought on by stressors that included divorce and the death of his grandparents.

“Until respondent learns why he turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism when he went through an extremely stressful period and learns how to avoid repeating that behavior in the future, he is certainly capable of putting himself and others at risk,” she wrote.