Sedro-Wolley man faces incarceration after fifth DUI
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
November 20, 2011 · Updated 5:43 AM
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.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.