Woman gets 1-year sentence in drunkest-driver case
A sentence of more than a year in jail was imposed Friday on Deana Jarrett, a former Seattle police officer and airport-security supervisor...
Seattle Times staff reporter
A sentence of more than a year in jail was imposed Friday on Deana Jarrett, a former Seattle police officer and airport-security supervisor who once was described as the drunkest driver ever arrested by the Washington State Patrol.
The terms, imposed in King County District Court in Redmond, were for a series of four offenses dating to 2001, but most of them for driving-under-the-influence charges brought in 2007.
Judge David Steiner said he felt sympathy for Jarrett "as an individual," but he said there was "another side to all this" that represents a serious danger to society.
Steiner summarized Jarrett's driving history, beginning with a 2001 DUI conviction, for which she was on probation, and including citations issued in 2007.
It was in April 2007, Steiner noted, that Jarrett drove on the shoulder, past a line of stopped cars, on Highway 520 and was involved in a three-car collision. She was tested for alcohol use by the State Patrol and recorded a 0.47 blood-alcohol level, believed to be the highest ever registered in a state breath test, the Patrol reported then.
The state level for intoxication is 0.08 percent. Jarrett pleaded guilty to the 2007 DUI charges in April of this year. She also had been charged with hit-and-run driving in a 2007 Redmond case.
Jarrett asked for mercy before the terms were imposed.
"Your honor, I feel like I have an issue I've needed to take care of for a long time. I want to get better. I've given over 30 years of my life to public service. I am so sorry, your honor. I apologize to the community. I want to get better," she said.
Steiner, however, followed a prosecution recommendation and ordered Jarrett to serve 365 days in jail on the 2007 DUI charge with the 0.47 reading.
Steiner also imposed a 45-day term on the second 2007 DUI charge and 30 days from the 2001 DUI probation, resulting in a 440-day total, plus 90 days of electronic home monitoring.
Jarrett is to pay various fines, attend alcohol-education classes and meet other conditions.
Jarrett served as a Seattle police officer and detective from 1979 to 1998, according to police records. She worked at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as a supervisor and screener for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from 2002 until she resigned after her 2007 arrests.
Her former TSA supervisor told Steiner on Friday that he'd known Jarrett for six years and never saw any evidence of alcohol abuse, with Jarrett going beyond the requirements of her job to do superior work.
Much of the hearing about Jarrett's sentence was devoted to arguments about whether she should be allowed credit for 395 days served in electronic home monitoring. Steiner rejected those arguments.
Jarrett is expected to serve the first 45 days of her sentence at jails either in Issaquah or Yakima, which King County contracts with for jail services, and the bulk of the sentence at the King County Jail in Seattle, where she'll be eligible for work release.
Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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