Vallejo man arrested for 10th DUI

Timothy McCrohan, 52, was arrested at his mother's home in Vallejo. He was booked into Sonoma County jail under $250,000 bail.

August 21, 2010 1:34:28 AM PDT
Friday night police in the Bay Area launched one of their biggest DUI crackdowns of the year. However, just because the cops get tough, doesn't necessarily mean the courts will do the same. One example of that is James McCrohan's case. He has been arrested at least 10 times for drunk driving, dating back to his first one in 1976.

Police started an 18-day DUI crackdown in Sonoma County and they hope to catch more habitual offenders at these checkpoints. Drivers who give any sign they may have been drinking are being pulled over right away and tested. The crackdown comes just one day after Petaluma police arrested 52-year-old McCrohan -- a habitual DUI offender.

Officers went to his home in Vallejo after a judge issued a $250,000 felony DUI warrant for his arrest. His most recent arrests happened last month after a crash in Petaluma, and this past Tuesday after two separate collisions in Marin County. Police say disorganized recordkeeping among state agencies allowed McCrohan to slip through the cracks.

"We don't have all the answers. He may have more than 10 DUIs. We're looking into all of that, but right now, the most important thing is we were able to get him off the street. We want him to get help and we want to keep him safe and everyone on the streets safe," says Petaluma Police Sgt. Ken Savano.

"I think it's really sad that we let somebody do this, this many times," says Mary Klotzbach.

Klotzbach of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, buried her 22-year-old son Matt nine years ago on Friday. He was killed by a drunk driver.

Her organization is lobbying for the mandatory installation of in-car breathalyzers for anyone convicted of a DUI. The devices prevent the car from starting if one's alcohol level is more than .03 and right now, they're only mandatory in four California counties, including Alameda County.

"We want to stop the behavior in the beginning and it's easier to break a behavior when you catch somebody when they're first starting it, so that's why it's important to do it on the first conviction," says Klotzbach.

As for police, they say they'll continue to do their part. They say more people are killed or injured in DUI crashes in the weeks leading up to Labor Day than any other time of year which is why this crackdown is going on now.

"We're hoping to educate all these motorists about the dangers of impaired driving and help them make smart decisions about using alcohol and getting behind the wheel," says Savano.

Last Monday, a judge ordered McCrohan to install an in-car breathalyzer, but he had 30 days to comply. Police say it hadn't been installed yet when he crashed twice on Tuesday.

And if you're wondering how someone could still have a valid driver's license after so many DUIs, it is because McCrohan requested a license suspension hearing, which automatically triggers a temporary stay and the DMV gave him a temporary license.


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