Sedro-Wolley man faces incarceration after fifth DUI

A 42-year-old Sedro-Woolley man caught driving drunk on South Whidbey Aug. 9 will likely be going to prison because of four prior DUI convictions.

William Shuler pleaded guilty Island County Superior Court Nov. 14 to felony DUI.

A DUI is normally a gross misdemeanor charge, but becomes a felony if a defendant has had four or more prior DUI convictions over a 10-year period.

Shuler had four prior DUI convictions, all in Skagit County, from 2002 to 2006.

Under a plea agreement, the prosecutor dismissed an obstructing charge. Both the prosecution and defense will recommend a sentence of two years and three months in prison at a hearing set for Nov. 21.

According to court documents, Trooper Chris Merwin with the Washington State Patrol was patrolling on Highway 525 on South Whidbey the night of Aug. 9 when he saw a GMC Safari van speeding. He clocked the van with his radar at 70 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Merwin got behind the vehicle and pulled it over after seeing the van cross the centerline. The trooper contacted Shuler, who gave him a false name.

Merwin arrested Shuler after he failed roadside sobriety tests. At the jail, Shuler’s blood-alcohol level was tested at 0.114 and 0.119, while 0.08 is the legal limit.


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