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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

DUI Offender Sentenced to Prison for Injuring Pedestrians

Santa Rosa, CA  –  June 13, 2016  –  District Attorney Jill Ravitch has announced that defendant Thong Thavong, 52-years-old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced Friday by the Honorable Dana Simonds to eight years in state prison.  Because of the serious nature of the injuries suffered by one of the two victims, Thavong will serve 85% of the eight-year sentence.  Thavong had previously pled no contest to one felony offense for DUI causing injury.  Thavong had also admitted a special allegation that he caused great bodily injury to one victim, a special allegation that he caused injury to multiple victims, and an allegation that he suffered a prior strike conviction from 1997.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “when people make the choice to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or narcotics, they are responsible for whatever results.  Fortunately no one died, but that in no way minimizes the pain and suffering caused by his selfish acts.”

The charges resulted from an incident on November 2, 2015, when Thavong lost control of his RV while driving on Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa.  Thavong failed to brake his vehicle, even after both right side tires blew out and he had collided with the curb on opposite sides of the road.  Thavong’s vehicle ultimately drove up onto the sidewalk, in the same location where two sisters were walking their dog on a late Sunday afternoon.  One of the sisters was able to jump out of the way, suffering only minor injuries, but the other sister was directly impacted by Thavong’s vehicle and suffered injuries that were initially life-threatening.  When officers responded to the scene and contacted Thavong, they observed objective signs of alcohol intoxication. Two breath tests were conducted and Thavong’s blood was found to contain 0.28 and 0.29 percent alcohol. 

The case was prosecuted by DDA Matthew Henning of the District Attorney’s Vertical DUI Unit.  Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Santa Rosa Police Department headed the investigation.


Contact Information

Joe Langenbahn
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273