SAN JOSE (BCN) – A former San Jose police officer who was involved in a DUI injury accident in 2008 will have to pay nearly $248,000 in punitive damages.

The jury in the civil case announced the verdict Wednesday afternoon, holding Sandra Woodall accountable for driving intoxicated on March 25, 2008, and injuring a teenage girl.

Woodall, who was working as a criminal investigator in the district attorney’s office at the time, rear-ended one car and then crossed into oncoming traffic on Branham Lane and crashed her Cadillac into a second car.

The incident created a controversy for the Police Department because of allegations that two officers who responded to the crash tried to cover up for Woodall by not giving her a Breathalyzer test or collecting a blood sample.

A Santa Clara County criminal grand jury later declined to indict the two officers in connection with the incident.

The victim’s family was seeking damages for injuries the victim suffered in the accident, but also to hold Woodall accountable for her actions, said Robert Allard, the victim’s attorney.

“This was never about the money,” Allard said in a statement.  “From day one, the family of the victim has pursued justice against Woodall and the San Jose police officers involved through various channels with the lawsuit being a last resort.”

Woodall pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge, for which she was assigned to a work furlough program but did not have to serve time in state prison.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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