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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Man Sentenced to Four Years Prison for DUI Causing Injury and Leaving Seriously Injured Passenger

Santa Rosa, CA  –  March 20, 2017  –  Defendant Alan Tapia-Ramirez, 21 years old of Petaluma, was sentenced on March 17, 2017, by the Honorable Jaime Thistlethwaite to 4 years in state prison after pleading no contest to a felony charge of driving under the influence causing injury. Tapia-Ramirez also admitted a special allegation for personally inflicting great bodily injury on Miriam Ortega-Martinez. The admission of the special allegation elevates the offense to a “violent strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “The selfish acts of this man almost took another human life, and exposed all on the road to considerable risk. The public is urged to report those suspected of driving under the influence.”

The charges resulted from an incident on August 13, 2016, at approximately 10:30 a.m., just outside the City of Petaluma. Tapia-Ramirez was driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol when he lost control and crashed into a metal fence and railing. The metal fence and railing impaled the vehicle and Ortega-Martinez, who was seated in the right front passenger seat. Immediately after the collision, Tapia-Ramirez fled the scene while multiple Good Samaritans stopped to assist Ortega-Martinez who had suffered serious injuries and was flown to Stanford Medical Center for treatment. Law enforcement was unable to locate Tapia-Ramirez for almost 9 hours after the collision.

The case was prosecuted by DDA Scott Uemura 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 California Highway Patrol headed the investigation.


Contact Information

Joe Langenbahn
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
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Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
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