Sequim man accusd of fourth drunk driving offense

PORT ANGELES — A Sequim man has been charged with his fourth driving under the influence offense in the last decade, making it a Class B felony.

Jeremiah A. Joyce, 26, was charged Wednesday with allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) before he was pulled over on U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles early Saturday.

He will be arraigned Oct. 5 in Clallam County Superior Court.

Joyce had prior DUI convictions in 2011, 2013 and 2017, court papers said.

If convicted of a fourth DUI, Joyce will face a minimum of 13 months in prison.

The state Legislature in 2017 passed a bill that reduced the number of convictions needed for a DUI to become a felony from five to four. The convictions must occur in a 10-year period for the fourth DUI to count as a felony.

Under the new law, an offender with no felony history would face a standard sentencing range of 13 months to 17 months. A Class B felony is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and $20,000 fine.

State Patrol Trooper Mark Hodgson said in the arrest report that he stopped Joyce for allegedly driving 64 mph in a 45 mph zone on U.S. Highway 101 near Deer Park Road at about 1:43 a.m. Saturday. Two passengers were in the car.

Joyce’s speech was “severely slurred” as he told the trooper that he had not been speeding, Hodgson said.

Joyce, who denied that he had been driving the vehicle, agreed to a field sobriety test on the shoulder of the highway.

“He was clearly too intoxicated to be able to follow instructions and complete the test,” Hodgson said.

Joyce refused to submit to a voluntary breath test. Troopers were granted a search warrant to obtain a sample of Joyce’s blood at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles.

Two troopers and two security guards were needed to restrain Joyce during the blood draw, Hodgson said.

An OMC lab technician drew two vials of blood from Joyce’s left arm with his left wrist handcuffed to the hospital bed, Hodgson said.

The blood samples and a white powdery substance found in the pickup Joyce was driving were sent to a State Patrol crime lab.

Joyce is facing another possible DUI for allegedly driving while intoxicated in Port Angeles on Aug. 12.

Port Angeles Police Officer Tyler Mueller observed Joyce revving up a truck and moving at a slow speed on the 100 block of East Front Street at about 1:56 a.m., according to the affidavit for probable cause.

Joyce repeatedly told the officer that he had not been driving the vehicle, Mueller said.

A passenger told Mueller that Joyce had agreed to drive her to Sequim and that Joyce “freaked out” when he saw the officer, court papers said.

Blood samples were taken from Joyce at OMC on Aug. 12.

Joyce has not been charged in connection with the August incident, pending the results of the blood test.

Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour signed an order exonerating Joyce from his conditions of release Aug. 15.

Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer imposed a $15,000 bail for Joyce after his most recent arrest.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.