By Ayanna Gandhi
SACRAMENTO – Brian Tipton might be called a “lucky” man, even though he was sentenced to nearly a year in jail this week here in Sacramento County Superior Court.
“Lucky” because, although he’s been charged and convicted of four Driving Under the Influence violations in 10 years, he hasn’t injured or killed anyone yet.
The latest incident was in November 2019, when Tipton garnered his fourth DUI while on probation. In addition, as a result of the hearing on this date, he gets 300 days in jail and five more years of probation.
Deputy District Attorney Berkeley Hatfield gave the court a factual basis, explaining that on November 22 of 2019, the Citrus Heights police received a call from a gas station employee, who said he suspected the owner of a motorcycle, in his parking lot, to be intoxicated.
The employee explained that he suspected this after seeing Tipton “drop the motorcycle on its side.” Then, when the employee tried to talk to him, it was clear that the defendant was under the influence.
As the police questioned the defendant, they realized that Tipton was on probation until May 23, 2020. They then asked him about the incident but Tipton denied everything.
However, the employee was sure of what he saw in the gas station that night, so when the police asked again, Tipton admitted it, saying, “I had too many beers.”
Hatfield also revealed that the defendant has had prior DUI violations, three of which have occurred in the last 10 years. Tipton was charged with DUIs in August of 2013, January of 2018, and February of 2018.
After hearing the story and reading the defendant his charges and rights, the judge sentenced Tipton to five more years formal probation and 300 days in county jail, 30 of which must be served in custody. The judge also charged a $300 restitution fine and $2,000 jail fine.
Tipton is required to turn himself into the main jail by Friday September 6, 2020, at 6 p.m. Within five days of release from the main jail, the defendant must apply for electronic monitoring; however, if the request is not accepted, Tipton is required to surrender himself back to jail by November 20 at 6 P.M.
Lastly, the court told Tipton how dangerous drinking and driving is, as well as the gravity of accidentally killing someone while driving under the influence. When asked, Tipton as well as his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Jack Lescroast, assured the judge that the defendant is working on sobriety and making drastic life changes.
Tipton has attended and continues to attend AA meetings, and he has worn an ankle monitor for months after this most recent DUI charge. The judge thanked Tipton for his efforts and encouraged him to keep taking steps to achieve sobriety and stay out of trouble.
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