Repeat drunken driver gets 38 months for eluding police near Ferndale

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 29, 2013 

FERNDALE - A Bellingham man with six DUIs on his record must serve three years in prison for drunkenly leading police on a car chase that ended in a grassy field west of the Silver Reef Casino.

A Ferndale police officer tried to pull over a westbound Ford Explorer driven by Corey Allan Hoagland at 2:16 a.m. March 22 in the 1400 block of Slater Road.

But Hoagland, 34, ignored the sirens and flashing lights, according to charging documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court. The Ford drifted back and forth, over the center and fog lines. Three miles into the chase, Hoagland turned toward the Silver Reef Casino, where he made abrupt turns in the congested parking lot. He got blocked off, however, in a bottleneck of cars and construction equipment. So he flung open the door and ran into a field.

A Whatcom County sheriff's deputy ran him down and handcuffed him. Deputies noted Hoagland's eyes were "glossy and bloodshot." The SUV did not have a required ignition interlock device, and Hoagland's license had been suspended, according to the charges.

He pleaded guilty last week to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and driving under the influence.

At the time of his arrest, court records show, Hoagland had been awaiting trial on separate charges of drunken driving. As part of his plea deal in Superior Court, he agreed to admit guilt in the DUI case - potentially his seventh conviction for driving drunk. The hearing for him to admit to DUI in that case is pending.

Also, under the terms of his plea, he must undergo a substance abuse evaluation, abstain from drugs and alcohol, and spend five years on probation through Whatcom County District Court. And he must serve three years and two months in a state prison, in accordance with a sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder.

Most of Hoagland's past convictions were for driving offenses: hit and run of attended property, April 19, 1998; DUI, Jan. 20, 2001; reckless driving, Jan. 30, 2003; DUI, Jan. 30, 2003; second-degree burglary, Sept. 7, 2006; DUI, Oct. 12, 2006; DUI, June 25, 2008; DUI, April 12, 2012.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Dispatcher blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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