Petaluma DUI Arrest of 5-Time Offender

ed A Napa woman may face some serious consequences if convicted of her Petaluma DUI arrest earlier this month. After officers stopped the woman and conducted field sobriety tests, which the driver allegedly failed, they discovered that she had five DUI convictions in the previous decade, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.800px-Police_Light-Bar

On Feb. 15, law enforcement officers pulled over a BMW 540i along Highway 101 in Petaluma. Officer performed field sobriety tests on 45-year-old Ixchel Susan Rollins, of Napa, and, after Rollins failed those tests, the officers arrested her on suspicion of felony DUI. Authorities also charged Rollins with suspicion of violating probation and driving on a suspended license. Police booked her into the Sonoma County Jail with bail set at $30,000.

Initially, one might wonder why officers suspected Rollins of committing felony DUI, since the driver was not involved in an accident, and no other people suffered injuries or death as a result of the driver’s alleged impaired driving. Rollins garnered this charge because, as the newspaper highlighted in its headline, she had already received five previous convictions for DUI in the last 10 years.

Under California law, officers may charge a driver, in circumstances that might otherwise have yielded a misdemeanor DUI charge, with felony DUI if: (1) the driver’s DUI caused another person to suffer injury or death, (2) the driver has three or more previous convictions for DUI reckless driving involving alcohol (sometimes called “wet reckless”) within the previous 10 years or (3) the driver has one or more previous felony DUI convictions. The previous conviction criterion includes not only California DUIs or wet reckless charges, but also out-of-state convictions that, if committed in California, would amount to the equivalent of a DUI charge. Rollins’ five previous convictions clearly placed her in the second of these criteria, thus resulting in her felony DUI charge in Sonoma County last week.

Late last year, Sen. Jerry Hill of Palo Alto, with the support of state and local police agencies, proposed a bill that would require repeat offenders, even those for whom their latest offense was only their second, install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles and use them for 12 months before receiving a restoration of full driving privileges. Under current California law, repeat DUI offenders have the option to install the devices in their vehicles in exchange for a shortened period of driver’s license suspension or revocation. Hill’s office pointed to recent statistics showing that 27 percent of all drivers charged with DUI in the state were repeat offenders.

Lawmakers in Sacramento continue to grapple with how to address the issue of repeat DUI offenders. If you are facing a Petaluma DUI charge, whether or not it is your first offense, you are entitled to full and competent defense. To assist with your Petaluma DUI defense, contact an experienced Sonoma County DUI attorney. Our diligent Petaluma DUI attorneys have years of experience handling DUI cases in Sonoma County, and can help you deal with your case.

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