beall.jpgA Santa Rosa man was sentenced to three years in prison for his 19th DUI this morning after he was found to be in violation of his probation by having alcohol in his house last month.

Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Julie Conger rejected defense attorney Steve Weiss’ request to reinstate 65-year-old William Beall’s five-year probationary term.

Conger found Beall in violation of his probation and imposed the three-year term requested by Sonoma County Chief Deputy District Attorney Spencer Brady.

“We’re pleased with the sentence,” Brady said this afternoon. He said Beall will serve 18 months of his prison sentence because he gets four days’ credit for every two days served.

On Dec. 16, Beall was convicted of his 19th DUI since 1966, which occurred in Santa Rosa on July 15.

Conger sentenced him to three years in prison but suspended the sentence and imposed five years’ probation and six months in the county jail.

Conger also allowed Beal to begin serving his county jail sentence on Jan. 21 over the prosecution’s strong objections.

The terms of his probation prohibited him from drinking and possessing alcohol.

On Dec. 18, a probation officer and Santa Rosa police officers went to Beall’s Oakmont home and found a 750-ml bottle of wine in the refrigerator and three 50-ml bottles of Irish creme liquor and tequila in a kitchen cabinet.

Beall was arrested and booked into the county jail for violating his probation.

Weiss argued today that Beall arranged for a friend to remove the alcohol from his home because he did not want to get caught with it if he disposed of it himself or put it in his trash.

Weiss said Beall gave his friend’s name and phone number to the probation department, but no effort was made to contact Beall’s friend to corroborate Beall’s story.

Beall also said he didn’t have time to dispose of the alcohol before police and the probation officer searched his house two days after his Dec. 16 court appearance.

Beall told the Sonoma County Probation Department he remained sober for eight years before his DUI arrest in July. He said he has suffered from health problems and financial hardship since his 32-year real estate business “took a hit” during the recent economic recession.

James Lanaras, Bay City News

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