A Bowling Green woman who has had six drunk driving convictions in 20 years is going to prison. Her driver’s license was suspended for 19 years.
Sophia Zamarripa, 40, appeared Friday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Joel Kuhlman.
She had been indicted in July for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them, a fourth-degree felony.
Zamarripa was arrested May 27 after she crashed her car into a wooden electric pole on North Maple Street and Morton Avenue, according to the Bowling Green Police Division.
She had pleaded guilty in October to the charge.
“There are mandatory sanctions in this case,” said Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Dexter Phillips.
Kuhlman said there is mandatory local jail time of 120 days up to one year, or prison time of six to eight months.
There also is a mandatory driver’s license suspension of three years to life, he said.
In October, as part of the plea, the state recommended incarceration in a local correctional treatment facility and 120 days in jail as opposed to an Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction facility.
Defense attorney Sara Roller said her client was driving her mother’s vehicle at the time of the incident.
She said while her client had 12 traffic tickets, this was her first felony conviction.
Zamarripa had been sober from 2017 to 2020 but when the world stopped with the pandemic, she was isolated in her home and went back to drinking on a daily basis, Roller said.
“I think Miss Zamarripa understands her actions could lead to be being seriously injured or dying,” Roller said.
Her employer values her work, Roller said.
“For as much as she struggles with alcoholism, she can get to work,” she said.
“I’ve been struggling with this disease for a long time,” Zamarripa said.
Kuhlman said while this may be the defendant’s first felony, it was not her first OVI.
There have been 10 physical control of a vehicle violations and 10 convictions, he said.
“You’re putting other people at risk,” Kuhlman said.
At 10:06 p.m. on May 27, Bowling Green police responded to a one-vehicle crash and found Zamarripa standing to the side of the road talking on her phone, attempting to speak with someone, but the voice was coming from the Bluetooth inside the vehicle.
According to the police report, she was stumbling and officers could smell alcohol on her breath.
Zamarripa told police she had consumed five shots of tequila in Perrysburg and was trying to get to her home in Bowling Green, the report said.
Tests showed a blood alcohol content over 0.17 and the defendant had five previous OVI convictions in Ohio in the last 20 years.
Kuhlman sentenced her to six months in prison based on the seriousness of her actions and the impact on the public. She will be given credit for time served.
Upon her release from prison, Zamarripa will be placed on three years community control and enrolled in probation’s intensive supervision plan. She must also wear an alcohol ankle monitor for three months and attend Alcoholics Anonymous five times a week.
The judge suspended her driving privileges for 19 years – one for each year Zamarripa has proven to be drinking and driving.
She also must pay a $1,350 fine.
Kuhlman reserved 30 months in prison if Zamarripa violates the terms of her community control.
“Please take your sobriety seriously when you get out,” he said to Zamarripa as she was being led from the courtroom and placed in custody.