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Deputy prosecutor due in court Nov. 1 on DUI charge
TACOMA — Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Barbara Dennis was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol Oct. 22 in Pierce County District Court.
Dennis was arrested Oct. 9 by a Washington State Patrol trooper responding to a vehicle collision at State Route 307 and Pugh Road. Dennis, the driver of one of the two vehicles, had two 3-year-olds in her vehicle at the time.
After refusing to give a breath sample, Dennis was arrested and taken to Kitsap County Jail, where she had breath sample of 0.144 and 0.134. The legal limit is 0.08.
A relative picked the two children at the scene.
The Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office agreed to handle the case, to avoid any conflict of interest for Kitsap County District Court. Dennis will appear in Pierce County District Court Nov. 1. She is charged with a gross misdemeanor.
The arrest occurred during an investigation into a rear-end collision, according to a report by the trooper. A witness to the collision told the trooper that Dennis, who was driving a Dodge van, failed to brake for the car in the same lane, hitting the car from behind and pushing it into oncoming traffic.
During the investigation, the trooper noticed the "strong odor of intoxicants" emitting from Dennis, and that she had bloodshot and watery eyes, according to the report.
Dennis said she did not know what happened.
When asked if she had been playing with the children, who were in the back seat, or talking on her cell phone while driving, Dennis told the trooper she did not know what she had been doing, according to the report.
Dennis admitted she had consumed alcohol during lunch.
Agreeing to perform a field sobriety test, and following through with a few tests, Dennis told the trooper, "I do not want to do these tests," after stumbling during the Walk and Turn test, according to the report. That is when the trooper asked Dennis to give a breath sample, and she refused.