Five-time DUI offender arrested at Cotati checkpoint

From : http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20101231/ARTICLES/101239926/1350?Title=Five-time-DUI-offender-arrested-at-Cotati-checkpoint&tc=ar

A five-time DUI offender was arrested Thursday night at a drunken driving checkpoint in Cotati.

Aurelio Garcia Lopez, 40, of Petaluma left his Ford Aerostar minvan in the middle of the road in front of a DUI checkpoint on Old Redwood Highway at Highway 116, according to police.

Lopez tossed his car keys and ran before being apprehended by officers who registered his blood alcohol level at .09 percent, according to police.

Lopez has four prior DUI convictions since April 2001 and is currently on probation for his last two convictions. According to police, Lopez was recently released from state prison where he served 18 months for felony hit and run. When he was paroled, he was deported to Mexico and told he would be subject to arrest if he re-entered the U.S., according to police.

Lopez is being held at the Sonoma County Jail without bail.

Nearly 2,500 vehicles passed through two checkpoints Thursday night and 2,365 were screened by officers for signs of DUI and driver’s license checks.

Of the 110 drivers directed to an area for further evaluation Thursday, 2 were arrested for DUI, eight for driving on a suspended license, eight for driving without a license, three for possession of marijuana in a vehicle and one for possession of a prohibited weapon.

The checkpoint is part of the ongoing “Avoid the 13” DUI campaign conducted by 13 law enforcement agencies across the county. More DUI patrols are scheduled through the weekend.

— Kerry Benefield

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