State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos Charged With DUI

State Rep Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37) is scheduled to appear in King County District Court this morning to face charges for a July DUI arrest in South Seattle.

According to Washington State Patrol records, a state trooper spotted Santos driving southbound on I-5 just before midnight on July 20th, and observed Santos “slowly drift[ing]” out of her lane several times.

The trooper pulled Santos over and approached her car.

“The driver, Sharon Santos, stated she was coming from a bar. I asked Ms. Santos if she had been drinking alcohol that night, and she stated that she had,” Trooper Jason Greer wrote in his report. “I could smell the odor of intoxicants coming from Ms. Santos’s breath, her eyes appeared watery, and her speech was slurred.”

Santos then agreed to take several sobriety tests.

“She appeared unsteady on her feet and swayed side to side during the test,” Trooper Greer wrote. “She also smiled during the test as if she was going to start laughing.”

Trooper Greer’s report also says Santos “had difficulty standing in the instructional stance” and “missed almost every heel to toe, used her arms for balance, and stepped off the line multiple times” during field sobriety tests.

WSP records say Santos told the trooper she’d had three drinks in the last five and a half hours, and had consumed one drink about 20 minutes earlier.

When Santos initially took a breathalyzer test, she blew a .077, just below Washington state’s blood alcohol limit of .08.

However, Trooper Greer noted in his report that Santos’ “breath was weak and [he] had to manually capture the sample in order to obtain a reading.”

Trooper Greer then took Santos into custody for DUI, and had her vehicle towed.

Santos was taken to a Renton Police Department office where she “refused to waive her rights and…wanted a copy of the complete [Revised Code of Washington] containing the crime she was arrested for.”

The trooper let Santos examine his RCW pocket guide, “but everything wasn’t in there she wanted to see,” the report says.

At the Renton PD office, the trooper gave Santos a second breathalylzer test.

“She blew into the BAC from approximately 1:06 a.m. to 1:19 a.m. without providing a valid sample. She would start blowing in the BAC properly, but would then stop,” Trooper Greer wrote. “It appeared as if she did not want to blow into the BAC hard in an attempt to get a lower reading.”

Trooper Greer issued Santos a “refusal ticket” and “punched” Santos’ license. He offered to take her to Valley Medical Center for a blood test, but Santos “asked if she could just go home and go to the hospital later,” the report says.

Trooper drove Santos home shortly before 2:00 a.m.

A representative for Santos—who sits on the State House’s education, community development, health care, and affordable housing committees—could not be reached for comment this morning.

We’ll update with more info after today’s hearing.

Update: We’re told the judge in Santos’ case has recused herself. The court will need to reschedule a hearing. We’ll let you know when that happens.

Update x2: Santos pleaded guilty to negligent driving 1st degree and received a three month suspended sentence on the condition that she complete 20 hours of community service, pay a $350 fine, and complete 24 months of probation.