A Sequim man was sentenced to 135 days in jail after a jury found him responsible for being in control of a vehicle while intoxicated.
Howard S. Price, 29, of Sequim, was recently sentenced by Judge Pro Tem Lawrence Freedman following a Clallam County jury verdict. The charge is similar to a DUI but does not require the state to prove that a defendant was driving, only that they had physical control of a vehicle, according to the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office.
The jury deliberated for two days, coming to a unanimous verdict after initially deadlocking, prosecutor’s office officials said.
Price will serve 45 days of the time imposed by the court in jail, with another 90 days served on electronic home monitoring.
In addition to his jail sentence, the court imposed more than $1,600 in legal fines and placed Price on supervised probation for five years. He will be required to take a traffic safety class, attend a DUI victim’s panel, pay a DUI emergency response cost of $279 dollars, and not refuse to take any future breath tests ordered by probation, the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office said. the prosecutor’s office said.
The conviction represents Price’s second alcohol-related driving offense within seven years, the prosecutor’s office said.
According to court records, Price was driving near the top of Deer Park Road in Olympic National Park on Aug. 12, 2018. Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Clark and Sergeant John Hollis responded to a report describing the vehicle. Shortly after passing the officers, the suspect’s vehicle failed to navigate a turn and crashed off the road. Two other passengers were in the vehicle and Price was found in the driver’s seat. Several opened and unopened containers of alcohol were also found in the vehicle.
After making contact with Price, responding officers observed the strong odor of alcohol on his breath, poor physical coordination, confused responses and other signs indicating impairment, according to the Clallam County Prosecutor’s Office.
When questioned by the officers, Price refused to answer questions without counsel. After being placed under arrest, he also refused to submit to a breath test for alcohol. Both Deputy Clark and Sergeant Hollis testified at trial; Price elected not to testify, the prosecutor’s office said.
A special verdict finding was also made by the jury that Price refused to comply with an officer’s request to provide a breath sample, the prosecutor’s office said.