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Tiburon man pleads guilty to felony DUI, seeks trial in misdemeanor DUI

 Posted on April 06,2012 in Felony DUI

A Tiburon man appeared in court last week and accepted a plea agreement in a felony driving under the influence case. He also has a pending misdemeanor DUI charge in front of him that arose at a later date from the felony charge, and he says that he plans to take the later DUI case to trial. Authorities initially accused the man of felony drunk driving after pulling him over for what law enforcement claimed was to check on his welfare.

Police say the man drove past a police station on Tiburon Boulevard. Law enforcement says officers grew concerned because they heard him yelling and screaming as the car passed by the station. Police reportedly conducted a traffic stop, which eventually led to felony DUI charges.

The accused reportedly has three prior DUI convictions on his record-the oldest of which dates back to 2002. Those three priors were used to upgrade the DUI charges to a felony level under California law. The man pled guilty to felony DUI under a negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors.

The plea deal includes probation and up to one year in the county jail. If the 56-year-old violates the terms of probation he still could face up to three years in prison under the plea agreement. A sentencing hearing in the felony case is scheduled for May 2.

Meanwhile, police in Sausalito claim that the Tiburon man was found slumped over his steering wheel in the parking lot of a supermarket February 18. A sergeant with the Sausalito Police says that the arresting officer knocked on the window of the defendant's car to wake him up.

The man was later arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving on a suspended license. The Feb. 18, 2012 arrest came more than ten years after the man's prior 2002 DUI conviction was entered, and because the arrest fell outside the ten year look-back period for California DUI charges, the Sausalito allegations involve a misdemeanor DUI charge. The accused says that he plans to take the allegations before a jury.

Police had initially responded to the parking lot after someone had called to report a parking lot accident.

Source: Marin Independent Journal, "Tiburon man admits to DUI No. 4, but denies DUI No. 5," Gary Klien, Mar. 30, 2012

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