A Sonoma man is facing 15 years in state prison for felony charges that include driving under the influence, recklessly evading police and causing a crash that left two other drivers seriously injured.
Jason Patrick Smith, 44, pleaded no contest in a Santa Rosa courtroom Friday to the charges, which are considered strikes under California’s three strikes law.
Smith was driving drunk, southbound on Highway 101, and trying to outrun a sheriff’s deputy on Jan. 10. The pursuit began in Windsor, with Smith speeding faster than 100 mph before crashing into another vehicle off Steele Lane in Santa Rosa. He injured two occupants of the other vehicle, officials said.
Smith was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving, felony evasion, violating his probation and driving with a suspended license.
His blood alcohol level was later be found to be 0.14 percent, officials said.
The man has an extensive criminal history including five stays in state prison, according to Sonoma County court records. He’s been convicted of assault, making felony threats, grand theft auto and a Sonoma Valley police chase similar to January’s pursuit.
At the time of his arrest, Smith was on parole for prior convictions, including recklessly evading law enforcement and making criminal threats, according to District Attorney Jill Ravitch. Smith’s prior threats acted as a strike and enhanced his sentence issued Friday by Sonoma County Judge Julie Conger, according to Ravitch.
“This defendant once again chose to put the community at risk by driving under the influence and driving recklessly,” Ravitch said in a statement. “Considering his past criminal activity, combined with his present offense, we believe the lengthy prison sentence is appropriate.”
Smith is expected to be sentenced on May 15 to 15 years in state prison, according to Ravitch. She said he will not be eligible for parole until he has served 85 percent of his 15-year sentence.
You can reach Staff Writer Angela Hart at 526-8503 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @ahartreports.