Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Man sent to detox after showing up drunk at DUI hearing

By Peyton Whitely

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

A Woodinville man who went to court in Redmond to face a drunken-driving charge Monday showed up drunk at the hearing and ended up at a detox center instead.

King County District Court Judge Linda Jacke ordered Joseph T. Longfellow, 35, to take an alcohol breath test after his attorney informed her that Longfellow appeared to be intoxicated.

Longfellow recorded a 0.32 in a portable breath test at the courthouse — four times the state level for intoxication of 0.08, court filings note.

Jacke ordered Longfellow taken into custody, but jail guards refused to accept him after paramedics said he needed to be taken to a detox center to prevent possible alcohol poisoning.

The hearing was continued to Feb. 27 at the East Division of King County District Court in Redmond.

Longfellow was arrested Dec. 2 on Highway 202 near Sahalee Way east of Redmond after being involved in an accident in a construction zone, said Trooper Jeff Merrill, Washington State Patrol public-information officer.

He refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, was charged with driving under the influence on Dec. 5, and pleaded not guilty.

Longfellow had pleaded guilty to another DUI case in Cascade District Court in Arlington, Snohomish County, in April 2003 and was sentenced to probation and a $1,915 fine. A check to pay the fine bounced in November 2003 and five years of court maneuvers followed.

Longfellow was supposed to appear in Cascade District Court in connection with that case on Tuesday, but he failed to show up and a $5,040 bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

Longfellow's attorney, Gregory Fullington, says his client was taken to Harborview Medical Center on Monday and has since been discharged.

"He's getting into treatment," he said. "He knows he has a drinking problem."

Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or

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