A Forestville man with a history of drunken driving convictions remained in custody Tuesday, suspected of driving drunk again and nearly hitting three pedestrians in a downtown Sebastopol crosswalk, Sebastopol Police Chief Jeff Weaver said Tuesday.
Officers arrested Christoph Frederick VonVoss, 45, on Sunday night on suspicion of driving with an excessive blood alcohol content and five other related charges.
VonVoss had a preliminary level of 0.23 percent, or almost three times the legal limit. He was on probation for two prior DUI convictions and has had three convictions since 2001, Weaver said.
At about 6:30 p.m. he was driving north on Petaluma Avenue. Approaching a crosswalk near Screamin’ Mimi’s Ice Cream, three people were in the crosswalk. The driver drove through within inches of hitting them, Weaver said.
The incident occurred in view of Sebastopol police Sgt. David Ginn, who stopped VonVoss and arrested him after the man failed a sobriety test.
The driver has five current suspensions on his license and was on probation for two prior convictions. He didn’t have an ignition interlock device on his steering wheel, despite being under court order to have one, Weaver said.
His prior DUI convictions were in 2001, 2012 and 2013 in Alameda, Contra Costa and Sonoma counties.
In a court appearance Tuesday, VonVoss was ordered to remain in the Sonoma County Jail until a Jan. 7 hearing. He is being held without bail due to his probation violations.
His car also was towed and will be impounded for 30 days, the chief said.
“It’s frustrating to see so many repeat DUI’s on the roadways,” Weaver said Tuesday. “Certainly after the first conviction, folks should understand the dangerousness and wrongfulness of driving under the influence. But so many apparently don’t.”