The elder of the two Dhaliwal brothers involved in the 2007 tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge in San Mateo County Superior Court this afternoon in exchange for a fine and a two-day jail sentence.
Kulbir Dhaliwal, 25, and his brother, Amritpal Dhaliwal, 21, were arrested early the morning of Aug. 5 in San Mateo after an officer allegedly found an open bottle of vodka in their car during a traffic stop.
Kulbir Dhaliwal was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and resisting arrest, and was released on his own recognizance.
He had previously pleaded not guilty to the drunken driving charge but changed his plea at his pretrial conference in the South San Francisco courthouse this afternoon, Assistant District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.
He received the standard sentence for a misdemeanor DUI, including three years’ probation, a $1,631 fine and two days in jail, according to Guidotti.
With credit for one day served, he must surrender to the San Mateo County jail by Jan. 9, 2010, to serve his remaining day, she said.
Amritpal Dhaliwal, who was arrested for giving a fake name to the officer who pulled them over, pleaded no contest to the charge in early August and was sentenced to 10 days in jail. He has since served that time and been released.
A San Mateo police officer pulled the brothers over on U.S. Highway 101 near Peninsula Avenue at about 1:45 a.m. Aug. 5 after seeing their car swerving onto the road’s shoulder, prosecutors said.
The officer smelled marijuana and spotted an open bottle of Grey Goose vodka in the car, prosecutors said.
Kulbir Dhaliwal was given a breath test and was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent, according to prosecutors.
Meanwhile, Amritpal Dhaliwal, when asked for his identification, gave the name Tarlock Dhaliwal.
The officer eventually learned the brothers’ true identities and discovered that Amritpal Dhaliwal was on parole.
The brothers made headlines after they survived a tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo on Dec. 25, 2007. The tiger, which escaped from its enclosure, killed their friend, Carlos Sousa Jr., and injured the brothers before being shot dead by police.