CHP Officer Sentenced For Ramming Wife's Car

Armando Arriaga Gets 5 Years Probation For Misdemeanor DUI, Reckless Driving

A Highway Patrol officer who was off-duty when he drove drunk and rammed his wife's car in Oceanside pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor DUI and reckless driving charges and was sentenced to five years probation.

As part of his probation, Armando Arriaga, 46, was ordered to have no negative contact with his wife and to perform 10 days of public work service and 100 hours of community work service, said Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe.

Arriaga pleaded guilty before Vista Judge Richard Mills, who immediately sentenced the defendant.

The prosecutor said at a hearing last month that Arriaga was driving under the influence of alcohol when he followed his wife down North Coast Highway about 7 p.m. on July 7, after they had an argument at home.

A witness called 911 to report the driver of a BMW was ramming a PT Cruiser, Watanabe said.

Arriaga was stopped and his blood-alcohol level was subsequently measured at .18 percent, according to the prosecutor, who said there was little damage to the cars and the officer's wife was not injured.

Melanie Arriaga, 52, told authorities she didn't think her husband was trying to hurt her that night, the prosecutor said.