Atherton woman pleads no contest to DUI

Margaret Brill, 63, remains out on bail until sentencing

A 63-year-old Atherton woman who was arrested for driving under the influence during a chaotic exit from a Menlo Park parking plaza in 2010 pleaded no contest to two charges in San Mateo County Superior Court on Feb. 3.

Police said Margaret Brill rammed a car while backing out of a space in a Santa Cruz Avenue parking lot, causing a chain reaction that led to two parked cars pinning a man between them. Several bystanders forced the cars apart and freed the victim, according to police.

Without stopping, Brill pulled out onto Curtis Avenue before fishtailing on Santa Cruz Avenue, striking two more vehicles and leaving a woman with minor injuries. Her car finally stopped after leaping the center median into a tree.

Two days later Atherton police arrested Brill after finding her staggering through a train station parking lot carrying a bag containing two bottles of wine, according to the district attorney's office.

Represented by defense attorney Jonathan McDougall, Brill pleaded no contest to causing injury while driving under the influence (DUI) and hit-and-run with injury. She admitted prior DUI convictions.

Sentencing was scheduled for April 12. Brill will not serve more than six years in prison, the district attorney's office said. She has been out on $150,000 bail since April 2011.


Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:21 am

Another classic case of a repeat DUI, this time with nearly tragic consequences. Six years is not enough.

Like this comment
Posted by 3 strikes and you're out
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

How many convictions does she have already? Why doesn't doesn't she already have a life sentence in jail? Lock her up before she kills someone or hurts more innocent people. Those high priced Atherton lawyers should not be a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Like this comment
Posted by Jared Bernstein
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:12 am

Thank you to PA Online for giving a clear description of the incident and the name of the perpetrator.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:37 am

Did Ms. Brill have a valid driver's license at the time of the incident and does she continue to have a driver's license today?

Like this comment
Posted by 3 strikes and you're out
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

According to the Patch, she was previously convicted in 2002 and again in 2006. Both times, she got slap-on-the-wrist sentences, which obviously did not do her or us any good. Now is the time to lock her up for good. The Patch article has her mug shot, in case you want to avoid her before her next trial.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Darren
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

[Portion removed.] She will never learn her lesson unless the judge throws the book at her" imposing the harshest of sentences. [Portion removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by Isn't there a law
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

This sounds like STRIKE-3 to me. And enforcing the 3 strikes law would be totally appropriate in this case - this is EXACTLY what it was written to address - people who don't learn.

Like this comment
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Driving is not a right than anyone can have or in this case should be able to keep. Although I would leave it to a judge to determine a penalty as there could be all kinds of variations to this kind of infraction I would recommend she be banned from driving for life.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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