Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Gary Keller remembers the crash that killed his wife and left him paralyzed: He said it started with a silver flash.
“I remember a big crash, and I remember flying through the air and hitting the ground, and I was in a lot of pain,” Keller, 61, said Thursday in the opening day of a trial in Spokane County Superior Court for Jon A. Strine on charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
Prosecutors say Strine, a Spokane stockbroker, was drunk and speeding in his 2002 silver Mercedes when his car slammed into Keller and his wife, Lorri Keller, 48, (pictured) on their Yamaha motorcycle on June 2, 2009, at West Fourth Avenue and South Browne Street in Spokane. Both were wearing full-masked motorcycle helmets.
Carl Oreskovich, considered one of the region’s premier defense attorneys, called the crash “a terrible, tragic, horrific accident” but said Strine made just a simple driving error just before the crash – a last-minute lane change – not a criminal act.
“Although this may have been a bad driving decision, it was an ordinary bad driving decision,” Oreskovich said. “It wasn’t a criminal bad driving decision.”
The city’s job offer to Brad Thoma came the same day a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced in Spokane County District Court for drunken driving for an April incident.
Darin M. Schaum (pictured with his lawyer in April) pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was ordered to spend 15 days on electronic home monitoring, be on probation for two years and perform 24 hours of community service. He’ll be required to drive with an ignition interlock device on his car for a year.
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said he will sign a waiver to allow Schaum to drive a patrol car without the device but won’t sign them for any future DUI arrests for any employees.
“Because of the seriousness of DUI, I’m just not willing to sign waivers anymore,” Knezovich said.
Schaum refused to submit a blood sample for alcohol tests after his arrest but retained his driver’s license after a hearing with the state Department of Licensing.
He’ll lose it for 90 days because of the DUI conviction but will have an occupational license allowing him to drive during work, Knezovich said.
Schaum was suspended for three weeks last summer because of the arrest, Knezovich said. Lt. Stephen Jones, who was cited for drunken driving after a crash in Liberty Lake last January, was suspended for two weeks. His DUI charge has not been resolved.
A former Spokane police sergeant fired after a drunken hit-and-run crash has been offered a spot as a detective after a change in state law lifted his driving restrictions.
City officials notified Bradley N. Thoma on Friday that he can return at the demoted level immediately after he obtained an unrestricted driver’s license this week, said Marlene Feist, city spokeswoman.
Thoma left the Spokane Police Department in December 2009 after Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said he wouldn’t be able to work as long as he was required to drive with an ignition interlock device.
But the state Legislature adjusted the law effective Jan. 1, and Thoma no longer has to drive with the device.
Thoma, a 20-year police veteran, has not yet accepted the position, which pays between $74,000 and $82,000 annually. He made about $91,000 as a sergeant.
A retired Spokane firefighter with a history of impaired driving and a conviction for vehicular homicide was arrested again Thursday after a state trooper smelled alcohol on his breath.
David W. Batty, 55, of Elk, had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit for driving when he was stopped for speeding about 11:30 a.m. at milepost 310 on U.S. Highway 2, according to Washington State Patrol.
Batty was arrested for felony drunken driving because of a conviction in 1993 for a fatal, alcohol-related car crash on the same road.
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price set Batty’s bond at $5,000 today and prohibited him from driving and from consuming alcohol.
“Apparently Mr. Batty’s had some alcohol treatment on a couple of occasions, and, regretfully, it doesn’t appear to have taken hold,” Price said. I’m sure Mr. Batty is a nice gentleman, but I’ve got some real concerns about him being out there driving a vehicle with his inability to control his alcohol consumption.”
Deputy Prosecutor George Gagnon said he wasn’t concerned that Batty was a flight risk.
“We’re more interested here in community safety,” Gagnon said. “He’s already killed one person.”
Batty was rehired by the Spokane Fire Department after serving time in prison for vehicular homicide but was on medical leave when he caused a crash in January 2007 that killed three people. He was not charged in that crash but never returned to the Fire Department.
Batty’s latest DUI conviction came after he was stopped in July 2008 and tests showed he was impaired on prescription drugs and alcohol. He was sentenced to nine months in jail in 2009 for felony drunken driving.
Batty told police on Thursday that he had two drinks early that morning and had taken four prescription medications.
His public defender, Derek Reid, said Batty is in “significant pain” because of a back injury.
PARIS, Tenn. (AP) — When a Henry County deputy finally stopped a speeding car on the wrong side of a highway, he found it had been driven by a 77-year-old grandmother.
Not that the stop was easy, reports The Paris Post-Intelligencer.
Barely an hour into the new year, Lt. Stan Pinson saw the car headed the wrong way in the northeast-bound lanes of divided Highway 79 northeast of Paris.
Pinson says driver Syble Dickens ignored the blue lights and siren, dodged spike strips and finally pulled over, saying she was still having "a good time."
She's charged with DUI, speeding, reckless endangerment and failure to yield. Her 29-year-old grandson is charged with public intoxication. He slept through the chase.
Both are to appear in court Thursday.
A Spokane Valley driver is accused of hitting a teenage pedestrian then leaving the scene with his 10-year-old son in the truck.
Steven A. Black, 42, left behind the license plate to his 1996 Dodge pickup after he struck Cody Washburn, 18, about 3:15 a.m. Saturday on Fourth Avenue between Adams and Progress roads, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.
Investigators used it to track Black to his home in the 10800 block of East Trent Avenue about 25 minutes after the crash, where they said he showed signs of being intoxicated. A blood sample was sent to the state toxicological lab and is expected back in about a month, police said.
Washburn fractured his back and suffered internal bleeding. He is in satisfactory condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
A Spokane man is in jail after two children he was towing on a sled behind an ATV slammed into a parked police car, sending the kids to the hospital.
Police say Ramon D. Noggles, 33, was under the influence of alcohol when the collision happened just before 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 3600 block of E. Pratt.
His wife, Kathy Kosloski, called the crash a “freak accident.”
“He would never intentionally hurt any kids,” Kosloski said today. “He’s just a dad trying to have fun with his kids.”
CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio drunken-driving suspect is blaming his arrest on Ozzy Osbourne.
William Liston was arrested Christmas Eve in suburban Cleveland. WJW-TV says he told police officers, "Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it."
Osbourne's hits as lead singer of heavy metal band Black Sabbath and as a solo artist include "Paranoid" and "Road to Nowhere."
Liston is awaiting arraignment. He's to appear in court Tuesday on a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired.
In an unrelated case, Liston pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Common Pleas Court in a November break-in at a medical office. He was released on bond.
Telephone calls to the 33-year-old Liston's home in Aurora have gone unanswered.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A construction worker who killed a promising rookie pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels and two other people in a horrific drunken driving crash said Wednesday he had all but ended his own life that night by getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Andrew Gallo, 24, (above and right) acknowledged his deadly mistake to the grieving relatives of his victims and said he expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars before a judge sentenced him to 51 years to life in prison.
"I know whatever I say will not change anything or the way you think or feel about me," said Gallo, who faced the judge because he was not permitted to look at the courtroom audience.
"You're right. I am a horrible person, a drunk driver who took your beautiful kids away," he said.
Gallo was convicted in September of three counts of second-degree murder and single counts of drunken driving, hit-and-run driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol and causing great bodily injury.
Judge Richard F. Toohey gave Gallo 15 years to life on each of the murder counts and six additional years for the other crimes.
Prosecutors said Gallo, who was on parole for a felony DUI conviction, had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he blew through a red light at 65 mph on April 9, 2009, and T-boned the car carrying pitcher Nick Adenhart (pictured below) and three friends.
Also killed were 20-year-old Courtney Stewart and 25-year-old Henry Pearson. A fourth passenger, Jon Wilhite had his spine separated from his skull by the impact and survived.
"Enjoy your life in that cage in which you belong, because you are no longer here on Earth," Wilhite said in a letter to Gallo that was read aloud in court. "I can assure you are headed to a much darker place."
Scores of people attended the hearing, including relatives of the victims who clutched giant, smiling photos of their loved ones. They pleaded with Toohey to sentence Gallo to life.
"I am hollow inside. I will never be the same," said Stewart's mother, Carrie Stewart-Dixon. "I pray to God every day to bring her back."
Adenhart's family sent a letter saying his parents hoped the sentence would bring some peace to their dead son, but justice could never be achieved.
"There is no balancing of the scales. There is no justice so long as Mr. Gallo is drawing breath," the letter said.
Prosecutors said Gallo drank beer and shots at three different bars with his stepbrother before driving off in the family minivan. Jurors saw a videotaped interview in which he told police he didn't remember driving that night and apologized to the victims' families.
Defense attorney Jacqueline Goodman had asked that Gallo be given just one sentence of 15 years to life, saying he never intended to hurt anybody.
"I don't think he should be treated like a cold-blooded killer," she said after the hearing. "I don't think he's irredeemable."
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said his office has won 49 convictions for drunk driving homicides since 2008. With the holidays approaching, he urged residents to remember this case as they celebrate.
"There's just no good in this, there's just no good in this kind of thing anywhere," he said. "It's all tragic."
A Deer Park man was arrested early today after a deputy who stopped to help him with his broken down truck found $1,200 and nearly two ounces of marijuana in the vehicle.
Trevor L. Weger, 30, was with his Toyota pickup at Highway 395 and Hatch Road when Spokane County sheriff’s Deputy Robert Brooke contacted him about 2:45 a.m.
Brooke said Weger appeared to be intoxicated and called a state trooper for assistance. The trooper arrested Weger for driving under the influence; and a passenger who was later released handed Brooke a plastic container with four baggies of marijuana.
The trooper, who Sgt. Dave Reagan said was searching for vehicle registration, found cash and marijuana in the truck’s center console. The pot weighed 47 grams, and police counted more than $1,200 in cash, according to a news release by Reagan.
Weger was booked into Spokane County Jail on a drunken driving charge and a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
A suspected drunken driver whose blood-alcohol content registered at .354 told police he hadn’t had enough to drink.
Donald J. Lafavor, 66, was driving southbound in a northbound lane on Argonne Road just north of Trent Avenue when a Washington State Patrol trooper spotted him about 1:22 a.m. on Sunday.
Trooper Darren Britton approached Lafavor in a fast food restaurant parking lot.
“I asked Lafavor how much he’d had to drink and his reply was ‘not enough,’” Britton said in a report. “He said he was going to go home and have more to drink.”
After registering a blood-alcohol content more than four times the legal limit for driving, “Lafavor commented to himself that he didn’t know how he got that high,” Britton wrote. “…He tried to convince me the cold medicine was why his blood alcohol level was so high.”
Lafavor, who has two previous drunken driving convictions, left jail Tuesday night after posting $7,500 bond for the driving charges and for a felony assault case connected to a confrontation with two Spokane County sheriff’s deputies. He did not answer a cell phone call seeking comment.
Lafavor was shot by the deputies several times and is charged with second-degree assault for allegedly pointing a gun at them.
Superior Court Judge Michael Price on Tuesday prohibited Lafavor from driving or consuming alcohol.
A suspected drunken driver arrested in Spokane on Monday had a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit for driving, according to court testimony.
Donald J. Lafavor, 66, blew a .354 and was booked into Spokane County Jail about 6:15 p.m. on Monday. Details on the time and place of his drunken driving stop were not immediately available.
At first appearances today, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price called Lafavor’s alcohol level “quite frankly, extraordinary.”
“I can’t believe that someone could be up and walking, let alone driving,” Price said.
Lafavor is scheduled for trial in January on second-degree assault charges for a confrontation with two Spokane County sheriff’s deputies last fall. Lafavor survived several gunshot wounds after deputies said he’d pointed a gun out the door at his East Broadway Avenue apartment after they knocked but didn’t identify themselves as law enforcement.
Lafavor was given a $2,500 bond for the drunken driving charge in District Court. Price set a new $5,000 bond in his assault case and prohibited him from driving or consuming alcohol if he leaves jail. Lafavor had already posted $10,000 bond last December.
JACKSON, Mo. (AP) — A southeast Missouri man has been acquitted of drunk driving after claiming that he consumed alcohol to keep warm after — but not before — he lost control of his vehicle on an icy road.
Thomas Drummond of Jackson told a court that he had been driving home after a night out with friends last February when his vehicle veered off the slick highway and into a culvert. Drummond says he was not intoxicated while driving, but that he was by the time emergency workers arrived more than two hours later.
The Southeast Missourian reports a jury acquitted Drummond last week.
Defense attorney Stephen Wilson says it was a set of facts you don’t see every day.
The Spokane County deputy prosecutor who didn’t file a felony drunken driving charge against a man with a history of dangerous crashes said she’s not sure she has enough evidence to make the charge stick.
James L. Crabtree, 49, appeared in court Tuesday and was told that a previous judge’s order that he not drive was lifted because prosecutors had not filed charging documents.
Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ann Brady said she expects to eventually charge Crabtree with something, but possibly not the felony driving under the influence charge being sought by investigators.
A Spokane man with a history of DUI crashes was allowed to walk out of court Tuesday with his driving privileges intact after a prosecutor failed to file paperwork on time in his latest arrest.
James L. Crabtree, who worked as a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy in the 1980s, appeared Tuesday for arraignment on a felony DUI charge stemming from an incident on Nov. 17 where several motorists noticed him passed out at the wheel of his Cadillac.
The other drivers used their cars to prevent him from leaving the scene after Crabtree, 49, rear-ended another car at the intersection of East Broadway and North Pines Road, Spokane Valley Police Cpl. Dave Thornburg said.
A 49-year-old man who injured a sheriff’s deputy in a drunken crash nine years ago has been charged with felony driving under the influence for an incident last week in Spokane Valley, officials announced today.
James L. Crabtree, a local real estate agent who worked as a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy in the 1980s, was arrested last week after other motorists block his vehicle at East Broadway Avenue and North Pines Road and told officials he appeared to be passed out at the wheel.
A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy smelled alcohol on Crabtree’s breath and found an open container of Four Loko in his car, the caffeinated alcoholic beverage now banned in Washington. Crabtree also allegedly had the prescription pill Clonazepam in his pocket.
He left jail on $3,500 bail after appearing in Superior Court Thursday on a drug possession charge.
Crabtree acknowledged he had drunk two beers and had a blood-alcohol level of .065, according to court documents. The legal limit for driving is .08. Crabtree received deferred prosecution for a DUI in 1997, then was sentenced to five years in prison in 2003 for vehicular assault after a drunken crash that nearly killed Earl Howerton of the Sheriff’s Office.
He was again convicted of drunken driving in 2007. Washington law allows for drunken driving suspects with prior convictions for vehicular homicide or vehicular assault while under the influence to be charged with a felony. Crabtree is to be arraigned Nov. 30.
A 49-year-old Spokane man with a history of driving under the influence was arrested in Spokane Valley Wednesday after concerned motorists blocked his path.
James L. Crabtree, a local real estate agent who worked as a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy in the 1980s, left jail on $3,500 bond Thursday after appearing in Superior Court on a drug possession charge. He’s prohibited from driving under an order from Judge Sam Cozza.
A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy smelled alcohol on Crabtree’s breath and found an open container of Four Loko in his car, the caffeinated alcoholic beverage now banned in Washington. Wednesday was the last day it could legally be purchased.
A Spokane man was sentenced Tuesday to 2 ½ years in prison for killing a Mead woman in a drunken head-on collision last year.
Lucian G. Brisan, 30, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide for the Aug. 7, 2009, that killed 57-year-old Janice M. Pulliam.
Pulliam (pictured) was helping a friend move when Brisan’s Plymouth Voyager crossed the centerline of Magnesium Road near Market Street and struck Pulliam’s pickup head-on about 2:30 p.m. Brisan’s blood alcohol content was .19 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving.
Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke sentenced Brisan, who had no prior felony convictions, to 31 months in prison. He was also given credit for about 70 days in jail.
The charge wasn’t levied against Brisan until this August to allow him to recover from serious injuries that otherwise would have had to been paid by tax dollars if he was in jail.
A driver accused of killing a Mead woman in a drunken, head-on crash has been charged with a felony, nearly one year after the crash.
Waiting to charge Lucian G. Brisan, 30, saved taxpayers thousands of dollars in medical bills, said Spokane County sheriff’s Detective Dave Thornburg.
“He had a long rehab period,” Thornburg said. “We were just waiting until he was healthy.”
Brisan spent months in a hospital and at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center. He was in a wheelchair and wore a halo brace for five months, Thornburg said.
“If we had arrested him we’d have to start paying for it,” Thornburg said.
Brisan has been out of rehab for the past few months but required in-home care. He was arrested at his home Monday, where Thornburg said detectives found marijuana.
Brisan appeared in Spokane County Superior Court Tuesday via video feed from the jail, where Judge Michael Price ordered him held on $10,000 bond.
He’s prohibited from consuming alcohol if he posts bond.
Brisan is charged with vehicular homicide and riving with a suspended license for an Aug. 7 crash that killed Janice M. Pulliam, 57 (right).
Pulliam was helping a friend move when Brisan’s Plymouth Voyager crossed the center line on Magnesium Road near Market Street and struck her pickup head-on about 2:30 p.m., according to court documents. She died the next day.
Investigators say Brisan was driving at least 68 mph in a 35 mph zone.
Initial tests said his blood-alcohol level was .23 about 2 hours and 20 minutes after the crash. The Washington State Toxicology report put it at .19. The legal limit for driving is .08.
Pulliam was a married mother of three who was active in the Mormon church, according to her obituary.
A Spokane man arrested in a drunken car that injured two teen girls told police they didn’t need to bother giving him a sobriety test.
“I drink every day,” said Mark E. Red Bear, Jr., according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Spokane police. “This would be a waste of time. I am drunk. I don’t need the test.”
Red Bear, 25, reportedly admitted to consuming two alcoholic drinks and smoking three marijuana joints before striking two girls walking near Walnut Avenue and 10th Street with his 1995 Ford truck.
Red Bear posted $2,500 bond and was to be arraigned today on vehicle assault charges for the July 24 crash, which occured about 10:40 p.m., but the hearing was postponed.
Witnesses said Red Bear appeared to be driving 35 to 45 mph in the 30 mph zone.
One girl fractured a rib, broke several teeth and suffered a concussion, then suffered a seizure after leaving a hospital two days later, according to the affidavit. Another girl sprained an arm, a hip, broke several teeth and also suffered a concussion.
Both are undergoing physical therapy.
A Coeur d’Alene police officer responding to a domestic violence stabbing had to swerve to avoid a wrong-way - and allegedly drunk - driver on Interstate 90 last weekend.
Officer J. Noble crashed into a concrete barrier while eastbound on the freeway about 9 p.m. Sunday when he saw a driver later identified as Jodi L. Warner, 43, alias Jodi Turbin, headed westbound in his lan, according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.
Warner, of Post Falls, continued driving the wrong way on I-90 until crashing into a guard rail near Atlas Road, where she was arrested, police said.
Warnerwas booked into the Kootenai County Jail on charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident and is out on
bond. Noble scraped his arm during the crash, police said.
An inmate serving time for a drunken driving conviction still is at large after walking away from a Hoopfest work crew Friday night.
Gary J. Todd, 29, hasn’t been seen since he asked to use a portable toilet near the INB Performing Arts Cente after his crew finished setting up equipment about 11:30 p.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
A guard found his discarded jumpsuit and goggles inside the portable. Geiger officials believe the escape was planned because Todd apparently had a change of clothes waiting for him.
Todd is not considered a threat to the community, but anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call 911.
Geiger sent five crews to help set up for Hoopfest in downtown. A Hoopfest official said crews are carefully screened before being assigned to work at the event.
Todd was to be released Oct. 11. He has a history of drunken driving convictions, including a conviction for operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock.
A 22-year-old Worley, Idaho, man with a history of drunken driving remains in the Spokane County Jail today after a wild ride that involved at least two accidents in southeast Spokane County.
Toma N. Moses was arrested Wednesday night near 17th Avenue and Freya Street after a front wheel on his car collapsed.
That was after one woman swerved to avoid a head-on collision, allegedly with Moses, at Palouse Highway at Jamieson Road and a man hauling a boat was rear-ended on the highway just west of Highway 27.
He remains in jail on $1,000 bond for charges of driving under the influence, hit and run and driving with a suspended license. More charges are expected.
Read Mike Prager’s story here.
Two teenagers had alcohol in their systems when the crashed their cars last winter, killing a 19-year-old Spokane woman.
Brooke A. Reese’s blood-alcohol level was .06 and Taylor D. Marean’s was .12 after the Feb. 14 crash on Hatch Road near 54th Avenue that killed Jacoby N. Bryant, (pictured) according to documents filed this week in Spokane County Superior Court.
Vehicular homicide charges were filed Wednesday against Reese and Marean, but no arraignment has been scheduled.
Detectives found meth in Reese’s purse, but she has not been charged with drug possession.Court documents indicate only alcohol was detected in her system.
The sheriff’s detective who investigated the crash said Reese and Marean likely be in court in mid-June after school is out. Marean is a student at the University of Washington.
Investigators believe he and Reese were racing when their cars collided on southbound Hatch Road near 54th Avenue early Feb. 14.
Bryant was in the passenger seat of Reese’s 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, which struck a tree after colliding with Marean’s 2005 BMW about 2:24 a.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
At least one person witnessed the crash, according to the newly filed documents. Ralph Reyes-Lao was driving northbound on Hatch with a Karra Skinfill when a white car being tailgated by a black car sped past them.
Reyes-Lao knew they wouldn’t make the curve at 57th and looked in his rear-view mirror as the cars collided with the tree.
A woman at the crash scene told them “everything was fine,” according to court documents.
Detectives believe Marean’s BMW was going 51 mph when it struck Reese’s Pontiac (pictured). The speed limit on Hatch is 30 mph.
Reese later reportedly admitted to drinking four shots of Vodka at a party near 25th and Grand before the deadly crash.
She cried at the hospital to detectives, saying “she was responsible for her friend’s death and had to live with it the rest of her life,” according to court documents.
Even the judge shed tears today as family members expressed the grief left behind after a Canadian woman was hit and killed by a drunken driver in downtown Spokane last November.
The driver, 25-year-old Cameron B. Olsness (right), cried as he faced the family of 63-year-old Elaine Price-Cornell (left) and accepted blame for consuming several drinks, running a red light, crashing into Price-Cornell in an intersection before fleeing from police on Nov. 20.
Olsness pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide as charged and received three years in prison.
“I am without words to explain the pain and loss I have caused so many,” Olsness said. “I would do anything to give you back Elaine. Though I wish for forgiveness, I cannot ask it of you.”
Superior Court Judge Neal Rielly said he was brought to tears because Price-Cornell’s family said she lived by the advice that he tries to impart on those who come into his courtroom.
Read the rest of Thomas Clouse’s story here.
A Spokane woman’s alleged attempt to hide her identity during a drunken driving arrest apparently backfired - twice.
Police suspected Megan M. Managhan, 28, was drunk when she was stopped last week at University and Springfield for an alleged vehicle equipment violation.
But Managhan added to her charges when police say she used her 26-year-old sister’s name.
Turns out the younger Managhan has a suspended license. But that additional misdemeanor was dropped when police learned Managhan’s true identity after checking her mug shot and tattoos. In its place are four felony forgery charges related to paperwork Managhan signed using her sister’s name, police said.
Managhan, who had been cited and released, was re-arrested Wednesday. She’s already on probation for a drunken driving conviction March.
State schools Superintendent Randy Dorn received an automatic 90-day driver’s license suspension when he pleaded guilty last month to drunken driving.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t drive.
The Associated Press reports that Dorn (left) is driving with an ignition interlock device - the same device Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick wouldn’t allow now former Sgt. Brad Thoma to use in his patrol car after a DUI arrest last fall. Thoma is suing the city of Spokane, alleging wrongful termination.
The 2008 Washington Legislature adjusted drunken driving laws beginning in January 2009 to allow all offenders to regain their driving privileges if they install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles, instead of simply suspending their driving privileges for a period of time. The devices test a driver’s blood-alcohol level and prevent the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected.
Even first-time offenders who chose an intensive, five-year deferred prosecution program, like Thoma, must use one.The option also is available for DUI suspects facing license suspensions because they refused blood or breath tests, like Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Darin Schaum.
It’s unclear what that could mean for a Sheriff’s Office policy that calls for employees to be fired only after their second drunken driving offense. Kirkpatrick wouldn’t allow Thoma, a first-time offender, to use one because she doesn’t feel its appropriate for someone in law enforcement to drive with the device on their patrol car.
Past coverage Feb. 3: Ignition device law a test for agencies
A Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy who refused a breath test after being stopped by Spokane Valley police pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a drunken driving charge.
Darin M. Schaum, 36, was described as “highly intoxicated” when Officer Todd Miller stopped his Dodge truck on Broadway Avenue west of McDonald Road about 1:30 a.m. on April 16, according to documents filed this week in Spokane County District Court.
Miller said Schaum identified himself as a Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy and said he could find a ride to his home just down the street and that it “was going to cost Schaum his job if (police) didn’t allow him to go,” according to court documents.
Read the rest of my story here.
Past coverage: Deputy faces license suspension
A Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy faces a one-year driver’s license suspension after refusing to take sobriety tests during an off-duty drunken driving arrest early Friday.
Darin Schaum, a 12-year veteran, appeared to be racing or confronting another motorist while driving his personal Dodge pickup about 1:30 a.m. near Broadway Avenue and McDonald Road, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Spokane Valley police Officer Todd Miller, said Schaum “identified himself as a deputy sheriff and exhibited signs of intoxication,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Read the rest of my story here.