A Ketchum man was sentenced to four years’ probation and given credit for 128 days served in jail after pleading guilty to a felony DUI charge that stemmed from a traffic stop in October. In addition, the defendant was order to pay $3,000 in fines along with court costs.
Raul Angel DelaCruz-Perez, 41, said he regretted the actions that led to his arrest in the early morning hours of Oct. 5.
“He regrets what he did, and he understands there will be significant consequences because of that,” Michael Kraynick, DelaCruz-Perez’s defense attorney, said during the sentencing hearing on Monday in Blaine County’s 5th District Court.
DelaCruz-Perez pleaded guilty on Dec. 5 to the felony offense.
According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Blaine County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Walter Todd, Todd was traveling north on state Highway 75 near Lane Way, south of the Elkhorn Road intersection around 3:30 a.m., when he noticed a vehicle traveling south crossing the yellow demarcation line separating the southbound lanes from the northbound left-turn lane to turn onto River Ranch Road in Ketchum. After a series of field sobriety tests, DelaCruz-Perez was arrested with a blood alcohol concentration of .136 percent, above the legal limit of .08 percent.
The defendant had two prior DUIs in 2011, making this third DUI a felony offense.
Both priors were extremely serious, according to prosecuting attorney Matt Fredback. DelaCruz-Perez’s first DUI came after he crashed and rolled his vehicle and was ejected from the car, fracturing his shoulder. The second DUI came four months later. At the time of that arrest, DelaCruz-Perez had a blood alcohol concentration of .193 and lied to the responding officer about his name, Fredback said.
As a result of pleading guilty to the felony offense, DelaCruz-Perez will likely be deported from the country. He had an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer and was likely to be picked up by an ICE agent once released from the jail, according to Kraynick.
“I’m sad you’re in this position,” 5th District Judge Ned Williamson said to the defendant on Monday.
But DelaCruz-Perez told the court that the four months he spent in jail gave him time to reflect. He said his life has changed and that he is now one of the leaders of a church group in the Blaine County jail. Half a dozen letters were submitted to the court in support of him, depicting DelaCruz-Perez as a hard-working, dependable father who had good relationships within the community.