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Posted: May 5, 2010  05:11

Woman Gets Jail And Probation For Felony DUI


Boundary County Public Information
PO Box 419
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805

A 48-year-old Moyie Springs woman might spare herself prison time if she is able to abide by the terms of her probation for the next three years.

Early August 30, 2009, an employee at the Moyie Club reported that that Joan Goosman, Moyie Springs, spun her tires leaving the establishment and a few minutes later at 12:57 a.m. an Idaho State Police Officer saw her driving in the wrong lane on Old Highway Two Loop. When stopped, she failed field sobriety tests and was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, an open container of alcohol and a prescription medicine not in its original container.

When administered a breathalyzer test, she blew .221, significantly above the .08 threshold for DUI. Because she'd had two additional DUI convictions within ten years, one in June, 2005, the other January 13, 2009, she was charged with one felony and four misdemeanor counts for the incident.

While he felt the chances of conviction were high, Boundary County Prosecutor Jack Douglas didn't feel an overly harsh sentence was called for in this case. She had been making good progress in treatment stemming from her earlier DUI conviction. Instead of falling back on the tools she'd learned to help in her recovery in a particularly difficult time, Goosman instead lapsed back to alcohol. Since being charged, she had abstained from alcohol, underwent regular counseling and was waiting for space to open in an in-house treatment facility.

"I don't see this as a prison case," Douglas wrote in a letter to defense attorney Serra Woods in offering a plea agreement. "The main goal I have right now is to get her to own and take responsibility and work with us to make some changes."

In exchange for a guilty plea, Douglas offered to remove the "excessive" charge from the DUI, still keeping that a felony offense and drop the paraphernalia, open container and prescription drug violation, all misdemeanors. He agreed to recommend a two-to-four year suspended prison sentence, 45 days in jail, $750 fine and costs, and that her license to drive be suspended as mandated by the state, with the stipulation that she agree to undergo another alcohol evaluation and follow through on their recommendations.

Goosman accepted the plea agreement, entering guilty pleas to felony DUI and possession of marijuana. Judge Benjamin Simpson accepted her plea April 26 and formally sentenced her on the DUI conviction to two-to-four years in prison, suspended, $500 fine, $407.50 court costs, $150 restitution, two years absolute drivers license suspension and three years supervised probation. On the marijuana charge she was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 32 days suspended, and $150 restitution.

"I feel good about the way this case was resolved," Douglas said. "It's not easy to recover from addiction, and while unfortunate, lapses can happen with bad consequences. Mrs. Goosman has shown that she was willing to keep working toward sobriety in spite of the setbacks, and this sentence allows her to do that, with an added incentive to stay on track and overcome her addiction."


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