Drunken RP driver jailed after wild ride
Man, 20, nearly seven times over legal limit at the time of arrest
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By Dave Williams  March 29, 2013 12:00 am

The 20-year-old Rohnert Park man who was arrested for drunk driving and hit-and-run will be in court today, March 29, at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 2 at Sonoma County Superior Court.

According to Sgt. Aaron Johnson of the Rohnert Park Dept. of Public Safety, Daniel Willin was booked into Sonoma County Jail on March 20 after severing a traffic signal, hitting two parked cars, driving on the wrong side of the road through a residential neighborhood, driving on the sidewalk multiple times, driving through front yards and eventually landing down an embankment into a tree. The RPDPS dispatch center fielded approximately 20 calls from the 911 emergency lines regarding Willin.

Preliminary reports show Willin’s blood-alcohol level at the time of arrest was .35 percent. Because he’s less than 21 years of age, the legal blood-alcohol level was .05, which meant he was seven times his limit. For those 21 and older, the limit is .08.

Johnson was nothing short of flabbergasted following the incident.

“Angels were watching over our community today – everywhere this guy went. In my 16 years in Rohnert Park, I cannot say I have seen someone drive this far, this dangerous and not hurt anyone,” Johnson said. “I am amazed we are not investigating a multiple fatality collision. Multiple residents called to report his erratic and reckless driving as he bounced his way down the street." 

RPDPS received the first report at 5:44 p.m., as Willin was reported driving on Commerce Boulevard at a high rate of speed. He tried to make a turn onto Avram Avenue but failed to make the turn because of the high rate of speed and hit a traffic signal, which was severed at the ground and landed in an adjacent parking lot. He continued over the grass and headed towards the bedrooms of an apartment complex where he managed to turn away and go down the sidewalk and then the wrong side of the road for several hundred feet. 

Willin then wound up in a front yard where children usually are playing. Fortunately, the children were inside that day. 

Willin then began to bounce off of parked cars on the street. Although not too uncommon to hit parked cars when intoxicated, Willin was able to hit the passenger side of the vehicles as he was driving between the cars and front yards of the homes. 

He made his way off of the sidewalk and traveled approximately a half-mile to Seed Farm Drive, where he slid sideways to the right and made it back onto the sidewalk and back into the street three times before eventually vaulting down an embankment into a tree. 

"He was driving so fast that each evasive maneuver left skid marks in the roadway not to mention the half mile of oil from a punctured oil pan and all of his car parts that were left behind from the various impacts,” Johnson said. “We estimated his speed at impact with the tree to be at least 53 mph. This is after he lost speed from hitting the curb three times and sliding his car as he was trying to steer down the road.”

Some citizens reported his speed close to 60 mph in a 25 mph zone. 

Willin, fortunately, was the sole occupant of the vehicle and received minor injuries. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution because of the amount of objects he hit as well as his intoxication level. 

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