A California driver who was arrested for a DUI faces additional criminal charges after he fled his hospital room, where he was being treated for injuries caused by his negligent driving, in order to evade police.
52-year-old James Thomas Miller, a resident of Santa Rose, California, was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after allegedly causing a crash on Highway 1 near Sebastopol, California, according to a report from the Press Democrat.
When police officers responded to the scene of the accident, they discovered that Miller had driven his Ford pickup truck off the road, which caused the car to strike an embankment. The force of this collision sent the truck spinning back onto the road, where it eventually overturned.
Emergency personnel who responded to the accident sent both the driver, Miller, and his passenger to a hospital to be treated for their wounds. This is where events grew even more interesting.
When police arrived at the hospital to question the driver, they discovered 46-year-old Kimberley Turpen, who was being treated for injuries to her head and arm. Turpen told police that she had only been a passenger, and that Miller had been driving the truck at the time of the accident.
To the officers’ chagrin, when they tried to locate Miller, hospital officials told them that he had fled the premises before the police arrived.
Fortunately for police, though, the injured driver did not get very far. They soon discovered Miller at a nearby bus stop, where he was seen stumbling around a road.
When police arrested Miller at the bus stop, they determined that he was drunk because he failed a field sobriety test, and Miller was arrested for drunk driving and other charges.
Miller faces a long road to freedom, as this is not his first DUI offense. Sources indicate that Miller has been arrested for three prior DUI offenses, as well as seven suspended license infractions. Miller was also on probation at the time of the accident.
And, under California DUI laws, Miller may face an addition felony charge for being arrested for his fourth DUI within a span of 10 years.
While most states’ DUI laws are different, almost every state punishes repeat DUI offenders more harshly than people who have only committed one offense.
Possible additional punishments for repeat DUI drivers include steeper fines, longer jail sentences, possible prison sentences, and suspended licenses. If they are allowed to driver in the future, drivers with multiple DUIs may have to use breathalyzer devices in their cars to ensure that they are sober every time they drive.
After a few DUI convictions, many drivers lose their license to drive for significant periods of time, and DUI drivers may spend up to several years in prison for their transgressions.