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Ukiah woman to serve jail time in DUI crash

A Ukiah woman with a history of impaired driving arrests and a conviction for being drunk last year when she drove into a neighbor’s home will serve one year in jail instead of five years in state prison.

Mendocino County Judge Ann Moorman on Tuesday suspended the prison term for Joan Ellen Rainville, 54, but warned Rainville that she would go to prison “if you violate any part of this sentencing order,” according to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

Rainville was at the wheel of her mother’s Toyota on May 26, 2013, when she accelerated through a fence and into her neighbors’ yard where they were entertaining. She narrowly missed one person before slamming into a wall of the house.

While no one was injured, prosecutors took the unusual step of seeking felony assault charges in part because Rainville’s record of driving under the influence. The 2013 incident was Rainville’s second alcohol-related crash that year and her fifth impaired-driving offense since 1996, according to the District Attorney’s Office. She has had three alcohol-related crashes since 2005, all involving blood-alcohol levels three or four times the legal limit, the District Attorney’s Office reported.

She was convicted of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Each count carried a potential sentence of four years in prison, plus permanent revocation of her license.


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