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Published: Thursday, 1/31/2008

Intoxicated motorist guilty in I-475 crash

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Tiffany Dewey and attorney Alan Konop appear in Toledo Municipal Court. The UT freshman was found guilty yesterday after she pleaded no contest to driving the wrong way on I-475 while she was drunk. Tiffany Dewey and attorney Alan Konop appear in Toledo Municipal Court. The UT freshman was found guilty yesterday after she pleaded no contest to driving the wrong way on I-475 while she was drunk.
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intoxicated student traveled in wrong lane

A University of Toledo freshman was found guilty yesterday in Toledo Municipal Court for driving the wrong way on an expressway while she was drunk, causing an accident that injured one person.

Tiffany Dewey, 20, of 5210 Spicer Rd., pleaded no contest to driving under the influence of alcohol and driving the wrong way on a one-way street. She was found guilty by Judge Francis X. Gorman and referred to probation for a presentence report.

As part of a plea agreement, the judge dropped a reckless operation citation filed against Ms. Dewey.

Ms. Dewey, who was accompanied in court by her father, declined comment after the brief hearing.

Her attorney, Alan Konop, said she has been attending regular alcohol treatment classes at Fresh Attitudes to deal with her drinking problem.

"She's doing very well," he said. "She's taking this very seriously."

Mr. Konop added that Ms. Dewey has a job and is continuing to take classes at UT.

Ms. Dewey was westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-475 at Rushland Avenue near the Monroe Street entrance ramp about 2:20 a.m. Jan. 11 when her car collided with a pickup, injuring its driver, police said.

She admitted to police she had been drinking rum before the crash.

According to police, Ms. Dewey's blood-alcohol level was 0.19 per-cent, which exceeds the 0.02 percent legal limit for motorists under 21 by more than nine times.

She failed the field sobriety test, police said.

The driver of the pickup, Tom Walker of 5910 Rambo Lane, was treated at Toledo Hospital for nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.

A passenger in Ms. Dewey's car, Nicole Cramer, 19, of 145 Mettler St., was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct intoxication during her arraignment in Toledo Municipal Court earlier this month.

The crash was the second instance in less than two weeks that a drunken driver caused a crash while driving the wrong-way on an interstate.

On Dec. 30, Michael Gagnon, 24, headed the wrong way on I-280 and slammed the pickup truck he was driving into a minivan, killing five members of a Maryland family, police said.

The Adrian man, who is accused of having a blood-alcohol content three times the legal limit, pleaded not guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court earlier this month to five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of aggravated vehicular assault.

His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 14.

Contact Laren Weber at: lweber@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.



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