PETALUMA, Calif. (KCBS)_ The state is struggling with the question of how long it should consider prior drunk driving convictions when determining punishments.

Police and safe driving advocates pondered that very question Friday as part of an end of summer anti-drunk driving campaign.

52-year-old James McCrohan of Vallejo was busted around midnight on felony DUI arrests, number 9 and 10 since 1976 says Petaluma Police Sgt. Ken Savano, the latest stemming from crashes in Petaluma last month and Novato on Tuesday.

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“He has an alcohol problem. He acknowledges that and was hoping to be able to do that on his own. We have just decided with the courts that we’re not going to give him another chance to do it on his own. We’re going to help him control his problem and hopefully not kill somebody,” says Savano.

Savano says officers need to know of prior arrests, dating back beyond the seven to 10 years collected by the DMV to help keep the public safe. And Mothers Against Drunk Driving state director Gail Butler suggests 12 to 15 years.

“When you have those kinds of numbers, it’s just a matter of time before someone is injured or killed in the next crash,” says Butler.

McCrohan remains in the Sonoma County Jail on a quarter million dollar arrest warrant with another of the same size in Marin County.

Comments (2)
  1. Dale says:

    I don’t belive that the crimminal justice system allows for law enforcement to set the level of punishment for a crime. They can certainly influence the outcome of such a decision, but (as the story is headlined) they should never be the sole resource for dealing with crime

    1. Devers says:

      Dale, you miss the point. This story is not about law enforcement determining any levels of punishment for criminal behavior. This is about a habitual drunk driver that will hurt, or worse, kill someone unless he is dealt with quickly and effectively. Obviously he cannot control his addictive behavior, and will probably need to sit behind some very solid bars (jail, not clubs) for a while.

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