Underage DUI Driver Faces Multiple Charges for Wild Trip Through Rohnert Park
A man’s dangerous (alleged DUI) evening drive ended with a crash into a tree in Rohnert Park and a trip to the Sonoma County Jail, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported. According to local police, the man had a blood alcohol level roughly seven times the legal for someone his age.
Rohnert Park police first started responding to 911 calls between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20, as numerous callers contacted emergency services to report a vehicle traveling in an extremely dangerous manner. The car erratically attempted a turn, missed that turn and, in the process, slammed into a streetlight, severing it at its base, Rohnert Park police reports indicated.
The streetlight did not stop the driver, though, and the vehicle headed into a parking lot. From there, the driver sped across a grassy area and toward an apartment building. Shortly before striking the apartment building, the driver turned away, moving into a front yard of a residence, then onto a sidewalk, bouncing off parked cars along the way. With his car leaving a trail of falling parts and oil, the driver continued from the sidewalk to the street, then down an embankment. The trip ended when the vehicle crashed into a tree at in excess of 50 mph, Rohnert Park Police Sgt. Aaron Johnson stated.
The driver’s speed when his car finally came to rest against the tree was not his top speed, however. The driver’s 53 mph speed at the time of impact was “after he lost speed from hitting the curb three times and sliding his car as he was trying to steer down the road,” Johnson told the Press Democrat. Witnesses estimated that the driver frequently reached speeds of 60 mph while traveling through 25-mph speed zones.
The total damage could have been much worse than just lost property. Johnson noted the residential yard the driver careened through normally had children playing in it, but those children coincidentally happened to be inside that afternoon. “Angels were watching over our community today — everywhere this guy went,” Johnson commented.
Rohnert Park Police arrested 20-year-old Daniel Willin. The police indicated that the first blood alcohol level test on Willin yielded a result of 0.35 percent. The legal limit for drivers under the age of 21 is 0.05 percent, according to California law. Police took the driver into custody and incarcerated him at the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of drunken driving and hit-and-run. His bail was set at $5,000. Before going to jail, though, the driver received treatment for minor injuries and extreme intoxication at a local hospital.
The penalties a driver accused of DUI faces become exponentially more serious if other charges are also involved, such as hit-and-run or injuring others while driving drunk. Regardless of the severity of the possible punishments you face, though, DUI charges are serious matters and require a serious defense. If you or a loved one faces a DUI charge, contact a competent California DUI attorney. Our knowledgeable Santa Rosa DUI attorneys have years of familiarity handling all types of DUI cases in Sonoma and the surrounding counties, and can help you advance the best defense for your situation.