TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged James R. Door, 48, with Felony Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Driving with a Suspended License in the First Degree, and Driving Without Required Ignition Interlock Device. The DUI charge is a felony because the defendant has four prior DUI convictions in the last ten years.
"This defendant is a poster child for the felony DUI law," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "A person who continues to put the public at risk by driving drunk after four previous DUI convictions needs to be held accountable at a felony level."
Shortly before 2:00 am, a Puyallup Police Department officer observed a car pull well past the painted stop line at two traffic lights and make a turn without signaling. The officer signaled the car to stop and contacted the defendant who was driving. The officer observed that the defendant had a blank look on his face and his eyes were watery, bloodshot, and glassy. The officer "could smell the overwhelming odor of intoxicants coming from inside the car" and on the defendant's breath when he spoke. The defendant's speech was slurred and he had trouble enunciating words within sentences.
The officer asked the defendant if he had been drinking alcohol, and the defendant replied, "Probably too much." When the defendant tried to get out of the car to do the field sobriety tests, he had trouble opening the door and fell back into the car. The defendant's zipper was down and he was swaying while standing. He failed the field sobriety tests and stated "I'm probably drunk." The defendant refused to take a breath test, so the officer obtained a search warrant for a blood draw. The results of the blood draw are pending.
The officer conducted a records check and learned the defendant's driving status was suspended in the first degree, and a judge had ordered him to have an ignition interlock device, to ensure the driver is not intoxicated, on his car after a prior DUI conviction. The car did not have an ignition interlock device installed. The defendant has been convicted of DUI four times in the last ten years and has more than 10 other felony convictions. The defendant also was wanted on an outstanding bench warrant for his failure to appear for a court date on a 2012 theft of motor vehicle case.
The defendant was arraigned today in Pierce County Superior Court. He pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $150,000.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact Kelly Kelstrup at (253) 798-7792, [email protected].