Four Petaluma crashes attributed to drunken driving

Petaluma Police attribute a string of four car accidents over the last three days to drunken driving.

The crashes are part of a steady increase in the number of drug- and alcohol-related crashes since 2010, said Lt. Tim Lyons in a press release issued Monday.

In 2013, there were 70 DUI crashes, 55 of which caused injuries. In 2010, there were just 49 DUI crashes.

Police are still searching for the suspected drunken driver in an early Sunday morning crash where a vehicle struck a retaining wall on Mountain View Avenue and Baker Court. Witnesses reported seeing an adult Hispanic man fleeing the scene after the vehicle he was driving broke down, police said.

About an hour later, at about 1 a.m. Sunday, another car crashed into the 400 block of Sunnyslope Avenue. The suspect, Hayden P. Stone, 20, of Petaluma then fled in his vehicle, police said. Police followed a trail of engine fluid to a home, where they found Stone still in the drivers seat, said Lyons.

An initial blood alcohol test showed Stone to be at .16 percent, above the legal limit. He was arrested.

Earlier, on Friday afternoon, Emily M. Symons, 31, of Petaluma was arrested after she backed her car into another vehicle while trying to leave a 7-11 parking lot, police said, adding that her blood alcohol level was .36 percent, well above the legal limit. She was taken to county jail.

Later that day, at a little after 7 p.m., a man was arrested for driving into a pillar at the Best Western on East Washington Street. The suspect, Jeffrey Marquardt, 44, of Mill Valley, also had a blood alcohol level of .28.

Police arrested another two drunken drivers, who were not involved in crashes, since Friday.

Lyons said police are continuing their efforts to deter drunken driving by holding periodic DUI checkpoints and that there is one scheduled for Jan. 24.

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