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Man fined $250, gets probation for drunk driving crash

The Maui News

WAILUKU — A Kahului man was ordered to pay a $250 fine and was placed on one year’s probation for a drunken-driving crash that injured his passenger.

William Powers, 38, was sentenced Tuesday after he pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree negligent injury, as well as DUI.

Powers was reported to have a strong odor of liquor and signs of intoxication when police responded to a single-car crash at about 11 p.m. March 17 on Waiale Road in Wailuku, said Deputy Prosecutor Brandon Segal.

He said there was heavy front-end damage to the vehicle, which had hit a guardrail, while Powers was driving. His girlfriend, who was the front-seat passenger, suffered facial lacerations and possible broken facial bones, Segal said.

He said police obtained a search warrant for Powers’ blood, and his blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.294 percent, which is more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The passenger didn’t support prosecution of the case and wasn’t asking for restitution, Segal said.

Defense attorney William Sloper said Powers hasn’t consumed alcohol since the crash and had paid to have an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle so he could continue to drive.

Sloper disputed the blood-alcohol result, saying the use of alcohol wipes could have affected the measurement. “To have that high a blood-alcohol content, it’s nearly comatose,” he said.

Responding to 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill, Segal said the blood-alcohol measurement was taken after another test done at the hospital within an hour that measured Powers’ blood-alcohol level at 0.362 percent.

In addition to the fine, Powers was ordered to pay $442 in fees.

Cahill said he wouldn’t impose a $275 fee to cover the cost of the blood draw, which Segal said the county paid for.

“This smacks of certain countries where they execute the victims and they send the bill for the bullet to the family,” Cahill said.

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