In California, multiple DUIs can mean escalating charges. While any DUI is a serious offense, once convicted of a DUI, subsequent DUIs typically result in stiffer penalties. For example, for a second DUI, instead of spending up to 6 months in jail, the sentence can be increased for up to a year. A third DUI can mean up to a year in jail or up to 16 months in state prison. For a fourth DUI, the stakes are even higher, since a fourth DUI charge is almost always charged as a felony, though it is up to the state prosecutor’s discretion. If there are injuries or fatalities or other traffic violations, such as reckless driving, even a first DUI can be a felony.
The Ravalli Republic reports on a man facing a 4th DUI charge.
John David Cormie has three prior DUI charges. The first was in Utah in 1996. The two subsequent DUIs were in California in 2004 and 2007.
Cormie, 54, of Hamilton, is facing felony DUI charges after drawing attention to himself by flashing his light bar multiple times in Ravalli.
A Ravalli County sheriff’s deputy first noticed Cormie’s vehicle while patrolling Highway 93 near Hamilton at about 6:45 p.m. on December 9th.
The deputy said that the vehicle was traveling southbound in the right-hand lane when it flashed its light bar several times.
The vehicle then veered across the fog line and jerked back into the right lane. The deputy said that the vehicle then crossed the center lane and back into the right lane several times.
Initially, Cormie did not respond to the deputy’s attempts to pull him over. Cormie finally pulled over once the deputy engaged the siren.
The deputy reported that Cormie appeared confused and did not know that he was in Hamilton. Cormie denied having had any alcohol, medication, or medical issues. At that point, a Ravalli County deputy took over the investigation.
A preliminary breath test resulted in a .222 BAC. A second breath test after Cormie’s arrest came back as .212.
The legal limit in Montana is .08.