Driver accused of hitting, killing California officer suspected of being under influence of pot, alcohol

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The CHP said the driver who hit and killed a CHP officer, who was in a parked SUV on Highway 880 in Hayward on Christmas Eve, was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. (KGO-TV)

The California Highway Patrol said a driver who hit and killed a CHP officer, who was in a parked SUV on Highway 880 in Hayward on Christmas Eve, was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

On Sunday, officer Andrew Camilleri and his partner, officer Jonathan Velasquez, were on a maximum enforcement patrol on the side of the 880 freeway, looking for drivers under the influence when the CHP said their vehicle was hit by one.

Camilleri, 33, leaves behind a wife and three children.

Recreational marijuana use becomes legal in California on Jan. 1, which means anyone 21 or older can buy and use the drug, legally.

Some state lawmakers and others are concerned because there's currently no standard test for determining if a driver is impaired by pot.

State Assemblyman Evan Low, who co-sponsored Senate Bill 65, said there will be "significant challenges" in the new year.

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"It's important, I think, we at least have some type of baseline demonstration on the books with respect to impairment," said Low.

Basically, the equivalent of blood alcohol content but for marijuana.

Low said there has been robust discussion and disagreement on the issue in Sacramento. A topic, he said, will be explored again in the upcoming legislative year.

The owner of Buddy's Cannabis in San Jose said no one should be intoxicated behind the wheel, whether from alcohol, prescription drugs, or marijuana.

He said his staff will be talking with new, recreational clients about responsible marijuana use-just as they have done with medicinal patients.

The driver of a red Cadillac that slammed into the CHP vehicle is in serious condition at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley where officers are standing guard waiting for him to be treated and released.
Related Topics:
DUIdui crashmarijuanadrunk drivingdrunk driving deathCHPpolice officer killedpolicecar crasharrestpolice officer injuredHayward
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