Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Felony DUI leads to 90-day sentence

Woman convicted of 3rd DUI within 10 years

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley resident Darcie Olsen, 49, was ordered by Blaine County 5th District Judge Robert Elgee last week to serve 90 days in jail on a felony DUI charge, following her guilty plea in September.

Olsen was charged with a felony for an arrest on June 3, 2009, because of two prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years. According to court records, she was convicted of misdemeanor DUI in Blaine County in 2005 and again in 2007. A probable-cause affidavit filed in the case by Sun Valley police Sgt. Kim Orchard states that Olsen also had DUI convictions in Utah in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Orchard wrote in the affidavit that Olsen's latest DUI charge came about because of a citizen complaint about an intoxicated driver. According to the affidavit, Olsen was driving a white 2001 Toyota Corolla recklessly in the parking lot near the Elkhorn Village Market. Orchard stated that Olsen almost ran into the market and then backed into a tree.

Orchard wrote that Olsen failed field sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol level of .211/.218. The legal blood-alcohol level in Idaho is .08.

The Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office accepted a 90-day jail sentence, down from a previously recommended 180-day sentence, as part of a plea bargain. The reduction was agreed to in part because Olsen has been accepted into an alcohol court in Twin Falls.

Defense attorney Andrew Parnes argued for a lesser sentence of 30 days, but Elgee denied the request. Olsen was ordered to begin a 90-day jail term on Nov. 2, to be followed by four years probation and no driving privileges for 15 months after she is released.

During the probation period following the recovery of her driver's license, Olsen will be required to drive with a car breathalyzer, Elgee said.

"I know you have struggles in your life," Elgee said, as he imposed the prosecutor's recommended 90-day sentence.

However, he said, any reason to be lenient toward Olsen was trumped by a need for public protection.

"I commend you for recognizing (problems) and battling with (them)," Elgee said. "(Treatment) didn't work and now we're at serious punishment."

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