Did You Know DUI Can Be Enhanced?

In an effort to crack down on those who drive under the influence, California began enhancing driving under the influence charges if certain conditions are met. Prior DUI convictions are one way that prosecutors can add enhancements to a DUI charge, possibly increasing jail time and fines. Other conditions that can enhance a DUI charge are: having a minor passenger, refusing to submit to testing, a BAC of .20 or higher, bodily injury, and reckless driving, among other situations. The Paradise Post reports on a DUI case where enhancements were added to the DUI charge.

On Halloween Night, a town sign reading Welcome to Paradise was damaged in an accident.

Behind the wheel was 41-year-old Tobias Cloud Swartzell, a Paradise battalion Cal Fire firefighter.

At the time of the incident, Swartzell had a blood-alcohol content of .2324, nearly three times the legal limit.

Swartzell also has a previous DUI from November 9, 2007, in Sutter County.

Swartzell was arraigned on December 8th, 2017, and his next court date will be when he enters a plea on February 13, 2018.

Swartzell is facing charges of two misdemeanors with enhancements. The first misdemeanor charge is that of driving under the influence, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, two enhancement charges for a BAC of over .15, and two further enhancements for the incident taking place within 10 years of a previous DUI.

Transparency California still shows Swartzell as a fire apparatus engineer, it is not known if he is still driving fire engines.

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