Ex-ADF&G spokeswoman to spend 3 days in prison for reckless driving

Posted: Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Former Alaska Department of Fish & Game spokeswoman Jennifer Yuhas will spend three days in prison after she pleaded guilty Monday to reckless driving, a misdemeanor, for a March 28, 2009 Juneau incident in which Yuhas operated a vehicle without her headlights on and failed to stop at several stop lights.

Juneau District Court Judge Keith Levy sentenced Yuhas to 33 days in prison with all but three suspended, a $1,000 fine with $500 suspended and 18 months probation. She must report to Juneau Alcohol Safety Program for evaluation and monitoring of any subsequent treatment programs through an Anchorage treatment facility. Yuhas was to report to the Lemon Creek Correctional Center today.

The Department of Motor Vehicles chose not to suspend Yuhas' license. However, Yuhas, who appeared in court by telephone, agreed to accept a 30-day revocation of her license as part of the plea.

Levy said there was not a lot of dispute that there was some drinking and very bad driving involved.

City and Borough of Juneau prosecutor Robyn Carlisle said the decision to accept Yuhas' change of plea involved issues with the Juneau Police Department's Data-Master verification and calibration test. According to Carlisle, the devices must be calibrated every 60 days after a Breathalyzer test and the Data-Master used by officers on Yuhas was not.

The Data-Master, is a device used for estimating blood alcohol content from a breath sample and are calibrated by the Alaska State Crime Lab or by personnel trained by the lab.

Alaska State Crime Lab Forensic Scientist Nita Olds, who oversees Data-Master procedures could not be reached by press time, nor could the JPD officer who oversees calibration for the department.

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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