A woman suspected to have caused a DUI-related accident on Whidbey Island Sept. 2 was arrested five previous times on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Island County Prosecutor’s Office.
Tina M. Silvia, 49, made her preliminary appearance in Island County Superior Court Monday.
Judge Vickie Churchill found there was probable cause to believe Silvia committed the crime of felony DUI.
Under state law, a DUI becomes a felony if the person has four or more prior DUIs within ten years.
Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme argued that Silvia should be held on $100,000 bail because she represents “an extreme risk to the safety of the community.”
Ohme said Silvia’s criminal record includes a 2005 arrest for DUI, which was pleaded down to negligent driving.
She was convicted of two DUIs in 2009, one in 2010 and a felony DUI in 2011, he said.
“We’re lucky we don’t have a vehicular homicide here or a vehicular assault,” Ohme said.
Silvia’s attorney, David Manni, argued that she should be released on her personal recognizance or held on a lower bail amount.
Manni pointed out that the blood test results aren’t back yet. He said the accident may have been caused by her overcompensating while driving and her confusion at the scene may have been a result of her hitting her head.
Churchill set Silvia’s bail at $50,000, finding that she poses a risk to community safety.
Silvia posted bail Wednesday, according to the jail roster.
A witness to the Sept. 2 collision on State Highway 20 near Libbey Road reported that Silvia’s black Dodge pickup was traveling south when it crossed the centerline and struck an oncoming silver pickup, according to a report by a trooper with the Washington State Patrol.
Both trucks sustained heavy front-end damage.
The driver of the silver truck had a minor injury that was treated at the scene, the report says.
Pill bottles at the scene showed that Silvia may have been taking Oxycodone and a couple of other prescription drugs, the report indicates.
The portable breathalyzer test showed that she had no alcohol in her system.
The trooper obtained a warrant for a sample of Silvia’s blood for testing, the report states.