Dowagiac woman shows up drunk to OWI sentencingPublished 12:03pm Friday, April 5, 2013
CASSOPOLIS — The sentencing hearing for a Dowagiac woman convicted of her sixth drunken driving offense took an unusual twist when the woman came to court drunk.
Dawn Mendoza, 49, showed up late for her sentencing hearing before Judge Michael Dodge Friday morning in Cass County Circuit Court.
During the hearing, Mendoza interrupted Prosecutor Victor Fitz several times and was warned by Dodge to be quiet.
Eventually, Dodge asked Mendoza if she had been drinking.
Mendoza, who pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a third offense in February, admitted she had been drinking that morning.
“I’m not hurting anyone,” she said.
Dodge adjourned the sentencing hearing and ordered Mendoza to undergo a blood alcohol test. The test, according to Fitz, revealed Mendoza had a blood alcohol level of .22.
Mendoza was taken into custody and is expected to be sentenced next Friday.
She was stopped by police for having no taillight and a cracked windshield on Riverside Drive in Dowagiac Dec. 8. A blood alcohol test showed Mendoza to have a BAL of .21.