Blaine County man to spend 10 days in jail for DUI | Cops/Courts

A Blaine County man who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor on his initial felony charge will spend a total of 10 days in jail for the offense, a judge ruled Thursday.

Francisco Herrera, 26, received the mandatory minimum sentence from Judge Mark Ingram for a second DUI offense: 10 days in county jail, two years probation, and mandatory treatment class. Herrera’s arrest in October 2019 was his third DUI in 10 years, with previous arrests occurring in 2013 and 2015 – making his latest offense a crime under state law.

“I didn’t care before, I didn’t do anything about it before,” Herrera said in the hearing on Thursday, referring to his previous DUI beliefs. “This time around, I wanted to do everything in my power to really try and get the best solution out of it.”

Herrera was stopped by a Hailey police officer on the night of October 16 because one of his headlights was not working, according to an affidavit from the arrest officer. The officer performed a series of field sobriety tests after smelling alcohol and finding that Herrera’s eyes were “red and glassy” according to the affidavit. An alcohol test showed that Herrera had a BAC of 0.098, which was above the legal limit of 0.08.

When Herrera’s vehicle was searched, officers found a semi-automatic pistol registered with him, leading to an additional charge of offense for possession of a firearm while under the influence.

An amended complaint was filed in the court on February 4, setting aside the firearms charge and reducing the DUI crime charge to a single misdemeanor.

Under his initial DUI crime charge, Herrera would have spent at least 30 days and up to five years behind bars. At Thursday’s trial, prosecutor Matthew Fredback urged Ingram to impose the same sentence imposed by a third offense DUI – 30 days in county jail – arguing that Herrera would continue to benefit from the plea agreement by serving a conviction avoid a crime on his or her record.

After a long period of testimony, Ingram decided instead to follow Defense Attorney Justin McCarthy’s recommendation: 10 days in the county jail, with Herrera receiving credit for two of those days already served. He will be on probation for two years, with supervision for the first six months, and must be on a treatment course. Herrera’s verdict also included a $ 2,000 fine with $ 1,000 on suspension.

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