California treats each DUI individually. While many times, a DUI is a simple misdemeanor, there are certain situations in which a sentence enhancement can be added to a DUI, increasing penalties. One of these situations is refusing to submit to a chemical test to determine intoxication. Another way that enhancement can be added is if there are previous DUI convictions. A third way is if a person is speeding or driving recklessly or has a blood-alcohol level considered excessive, such as being over .20%. Another way that additional penalties can be added is if there are injuries or damage to personal property in a DUI accident.
The Rohnert Park-Cotati Patch reports on a man, believed to be intoxicated, who drove into a home trying to evade police.
At about 10:25 p.m. on Saturday, a Rohnert Park police officer walked into a gas station on Redwood Drive. He noticed a silver Volvo that did not have any license plates. As the officer came out of the store, he observed that the car now had out-of-state license plates. When the officers made an attempt to talk to those in the vehicle, the driver took off, leaving one of the passengers behind.
The vehicle was spotted again about 15 minutes later by a K-9 officer. When that officer attempted to approach, the driver took off again. There was a brief chase with speeds of 100 mph before the driver attempted to make a turn. Instead, he crashed into a fence and went airborne. He then crashed into a trailer parked in front of the house. The trailer then crashed into the house.
The driver, identified as 40-year-old George Lawton, was trapped inside the car. Once he was extricated, he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. According to officers, Lawton looked to be intoxicated.
After being medically cleared, Lawton continued to fight with officers in the hospital parking lot.