Woman arrested for being drunk at DUI hearing

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A woman pleaded guilty to a driving under the influence charge yesterday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court and was on her way to the electronic monitoring office when court officials administered a Breathalyzer test that revealed she had a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit. She was sent to jail.

It was the second time this month that a repeat offender showed up at court drunk.

Paula Davis, 38, signed a plea deal for electronic monitoring, and then left court for the routine breath test, which she failed with a reading of 0.166. A driver registering 0.08 is legally drunk.

Ms. Davis later admitted she was frustrated at the long wait and had "a few vodkas" during the lunch break.

Common Pleas Judge Kevin G. Sasinoski ordered her to jail. She is scheduled to return for DUI court on Dec. 6.

Meanwhile, a Swissvale man who was jailed Nov. 8 after showing up drunk for his DUI hearing, learned yesterday he must spend a third week in jail before entering the county's recovery program.

Donald James Timmis told Judge Sasinoski:"I do have this addiction with alcohol. I'm willing to go to the treatment program and try to correct some of those problems and get on with my life." He said he wanted to do what he could to be present for his 15-year-old son.

The 47-year-old apologized for his misstep two weeks earlier and agreed to a slightly steeper sentence than he would have received then.

The judge gave him 23 months on electronic monitoring, with work release if he can arrange with his employer, the Braddock Hills department of public works, to be re-assigned to a non-driving job. He will then serve 37 months' probation. He agreed to attend treatment and monthly DUI hearings, do 50 hours of community service, pay $3,000 in court costs and refrain from drinking alcohol.

Mr. Timmis' May arrest was his third in less than 10 years for driving under the influence.

Because of the holiday weekend, program officials said, he will not be released from the Allegheny County Jail until Tuesday.

He was one of 48 participants in the DUI court program who appeared before the judge yesterday.

Gabrielle Banks can be reached at gbanks@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1370.


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