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Geyserville man sentenced to year in county jail for DUI, fleeing from law enforcement

A Geyserville man was sentenced last week to three years of probation with one year in county jail after being arrested in September for driving under the influence of a drug.

Eric Vangelder, 56, was sentenced Feb. 14 by Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Mark Urioste, after pleading no contest in January to the misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of drugs and the felony charge of reckless evading of law enforcement, according to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office.

The charges stem from an incident Sept. 15, when Vangelder nearly collided with a CHP motorcycle officer in Geyserville while driving through a road closure at a high speed, ignoring several posted stop signs. Another officer signaled for Vangelder to pull over, but he accelerated away, the news release said. He continued driving south on Highway 101, ignoring multiple law enforcement vehicles that had their emergency lights and sirens activated. He topped 110 mph during the chase.

The chase lasted until Vangelder reached the exit at Airport Boulevard, where Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies were able to deploy spike strips to disable his vehicle. Still, he refused repeated commands to exit his car, requiring a SWAT unit to respond, the news release said.

Vangelder had previously been convicted of driving under the influence in 2016, according to the news release.

You can reach Staff Writer Chantelle Lee at 707-521-5337 or chantelle.lee@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ChantelleHLee.

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