A Contra Costa County man with a history of DUI convictions has been sentenced to five years in prison for a felony driving under the influence conviction in El Dorado County.
Michael Charles Ramirez, 45, of Concord was convicted by a jury in February of two counts of felony driving under the influence and suspended license charges, according to an El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office news release. He was sentenced Monday by El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Melikian, who found true allegations that Ramirez had four prior DUI convictions, a prior felony DUI conviction and that he had served two prior prison terms.
On June 1, 2014, an El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy observed Ramirez operating a vehicle that was stopped in the slow lane on Highway 50. The deputy pulled in behind Ramirez, then followed the vehicle as Ramirez drove away. The deputy noted that, although it hadn’t rained in weeks, the vehicle’s windshield wipers were activated, and the vehicle was swerving within its lane, authorities said.
The deputy initiated a traffic stop, and Ramirez pulled over in the Red Hawk Casino parking lot. Ramirez was arrested after he registered a breath alcohol reading of .11/.12 percent, according to the news release.
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Ramirez’s case was prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office’s vertical prosecution team, which specializes in felony and serious misdemeanor DUI cases. Funding for the vertical prosecution team is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.