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Pierce County jury acquits one of first drivers charged with felony DUI

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Feb. 21, 2008 at 11:57 am |
February 21, 2008 11:57 am

Paul L. Yahne, one of the first people charged in Pierce County with felony DUI, has been found not guilty.

The Superior Court jury reached its verdict last week, according to court records.

A sheriff’s deputy stopped Yahne on Aug. 21 after spotting him driving after dark without his headlights on. The deputy suspected Yahne had been drinking and arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Pierce County prosecutors charged Yahne under a new law that makes a person’s fifth DUI conviction over a 10-year period a felony. Yahne has four DUI convictions since 2000, according to court records.

Under previous law, all DUI convictions were treated as gross misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail. A felony DUI conviction requires state prison time and mandatory alcohol and drug testing.

Although acquitted of DUI, Yahne pleaded guilty to second-degree driving with a suspended license in the case and was sentenced to 330 days in jail. He was given credit for 177 days time served and should be out of jail in April.

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