By Stephanie Don
FRESNO – Fresno County Superior Court Judge Ana de Alba seemed to prioritize DUI (Driving Under the Influence) cases over others just before the 4th of July holiday last week.
Defendant Guillermo Zoquitecatl originally appeared before the court via Zoom for two DUI cases. However, after Judge Ana de Alba was made aware of Zoquitecatl’s three other open DUI cases, the cases were immediately prioritized.
Zoquitecatl, said the prosecution, was first pulled over in 2012 for reckless driving, having been described as “weaving and following other vehicles closely.” Zoquitecatl’s blood alcohol content was 0.29, 0.21 over the legal limit of 0.08.
In 2015, Zoquitecatl was found to be driving under the influence again, the court was told, when police found his vehicle “rocking, with tires spinning” and they stopped to assist Zoquitecatl, who was later involved in three additional DUI cases, yielding five DUI cases between 2012 and 2020.
Zoquitecatl had failed to appear before the court in the past, preventing his 2012 and 2015 incidents from being sentenced. According to previous records, Judge de Alba had previously remanded Zoquitecatl in a preliminary hearing on June 16, 2020, resulting in a surety bond.
Judge de Alba expressed “deep concern for public safety, considering the amount of open DUI cases” and moved to immediately sentence Zoquitecatl for the first two DUI cases. Zoquitecatl pleaded no contest to both cases.
For the first count, Judge de Alba sentenced Zoquitecatl to three years of misdemeanor probation, 364 days in jail, and a $941 fine. For the second count, Judge de Alba sentenced Zoquitecatl to an additional five years of misdemeanor probation, an additional 364 days in jail, and an additional $941 fine. The first payment for both fines will be October 15, 2020.
For both counts, Zoquitecatl will be monitored for alcohol for 35 actual days using the Scram X device and must have the Scram X device installed for two years, and register for and attend a multiple DUI class. Additionally, Judge de Alba required that Zoquitecatl be subject to a chemical test for alcohol in any future incidents involving the police, as well as prohibiting Zoquitecatl from being at any events or functions in which alcohol is present.
Judge de Alba requested to be notified that Zoquitecatl acquired and installed Scram X with proof by July 2, 2020.
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