Woman facing eighth DUI charge could soon see her ninth

Dec 17 2011 - 9:16am



OGDEN -- A local woman is on the verge of her ninth charge of drunken driving, suspected just days apart from her eighth.

Chera Baird, 44, was in 2nd District Court this week on DUI charge No. 8, filed after a Nov. 18 incident in Ogden in which her blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.223, according to charging documents, nearly three times the 0.08 legal limit for driving.

The Ogden woman's status conference was continued this week to Dec. 28 before Judge W. Brent West.

"I think that's significant, eight DUIs," said Deputy Weber County Attorney Ben Willoughby.

He is prosecuting the eighth charge and waiting on blood tests before filing the ninth, which occurred in Ogden two days before No. 8.

In both November arrests, Baird was involved in a minor vehicle collision and left the scene, according to Willoughby and court documents.

In the Nov. 16 incident, results of a blood test on Baird's alcohol level are pending, Willoughby said, because a Breathalyzer test was not administered at the scene for unknown reasons.

In that Nov. 16 mishap, Baird failed field sobriety tests and admitted she had been drinking, according to a probable cause statement accompanying her arrest.

Baird's bail agreement for the Nov. 18 charges includes the conditions that she not be allowed to drive a vehicle or drink any alcohol.

"That's not standard," Willoughby said, "but our office asked the judge to include it."

Baird's listed DUI arrests, some under a married name of Ballingham, stretch back to 1990, according to court records.

Some resulted in fines and probation unless otherwise listed below. Under state law, a DUI becomes a third-degree felony, punishable by a possible prison term, upon the third offense in a 10-year period.

* 2008: 2nd District Court in Farmington, class A misdemeanor reduced from a third-degree felony after 63 days in jail and completion of Davis County Drug Court, which includes a DUI component, with 434 days sober.

* 2007: Roy Justice Court, class B misdemeanor DUI, 240 hours of community service.

* 2001: 2nd District Court in Farmington, third-degree felony DUI, 60 days in jail.

* 1994: 2nd District Court in Farmington, third-degree felony DUI, one month in jail.

* 1994: Centerville Justice Court, charge reduced to class B misdemeanor alcohol-related reckless driving.

* 1991: 2nd District Court in Layton, class B misdemeanor DUI.

* 1990: 2nd District Court in Layton, class B misdemeanor DUI, two days in jail.

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