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Surge in Petaluma DUI arrests, crashes on holiday weekend

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:17 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:17 a.m.

St. Patrick's Day weekend revelry in Petaluma added to a surge in drunken-driving arrests and crashes, including a suspected drunken driver who hit a pedestrian and didn't stop, police reported Sunday.

The suspect, who was arrested a few blocks away, had been convicted last spring of drunken driving and was traveling with beer poured into a coffee mug, Petaluma traffic Sgt. Ken Savano said.

The 6:15 p.m. crash was in downtown Petaluma at Petaluma Boulevard North at Washington Street.

It was the first of three Petaluma collisions overnight involving suspected drunken drivers and the first of four such arrests.

Due to the holiday, extra police officers were on duty throughout the county, focusing on drunken driving and other alcohol-related issues.

The downtown Petaluma collision happened as van driver Timothy Kemp, 50, of Petaluma collided with pedestrian Matthew Bushner, 22, of Petaluma, said Savano.

Police suspected Bushner was inebriated, which may have been a factor.

When the van didn't stop, a witness followed and contacted police. Officers stopped the van at Lakeville and D streets.

Kemp told officers he was on his way back to the crash scene but couldn't explain why he had passed streets which would have gotten him there, Savano said.

Inside Kemp's Ford Windstar van, officers found two bottles of vodka and a 12-pack of Budweiser beer with one can open and beer inside of a mug, Savano reported.

Kemp had been convicted of drunken driving last spring. After failing a sobriety test, Kemp was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving causing injury, felony hit and run and violating his DUI probation, Savano said. He was booked into the Sonoma County jail. Bail was set at $30,000.

Pedestrian Bushner suffered moderate injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Savano asked any witnesses to the collision to contact Officer Chris Ricci at 788-4373.

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