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Multiple DUIs send Denair man to prison
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A Denair man was sentenced to prison for two drunk driving arrests that happened a few months apart last year.

Vicente Zapien Chavez, 49, was sentenced on Jan. 25, to two years in state prison for two counts of felony driving under the influence, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

On June 11, 2016, Chavez was seen driving erratically by a citizen who called police. A California Highway Patrol officer stopped Chavez and noted symptoms consistent with a person being under the influence of alcohol. A chemical determined Chavez’s blood alcohol content was 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit of .08 percent.

Three months later, on Sept. 5, 2016, Chavez was stopped by Modesto Police after he was seen driving into the oncoming lane, almost causing a crash. Chavez smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, staggered when he walked, and admitted he had been drinking. A chemical test determined his blood alcohol level was 0.15 percent.

Chavez had previously been convicted four times for misdemeanor drunk driving within the last ten years, which elevated the criminal charges filed in both incidents to felony crimes.

On Jan. 25, Chavez pled no contest to the felony drunk driving stemming from the June 11 incident. He also admitted his four previous misdemeanor drunk driving convictions.

Chavez then pled no contest to the felony drunk driving stemming from the Sept.5 incident.

Judge Thomas Zeff then sentenced Chavez to two years in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Bianca Yip prosecuted the case for the People. Her position is funded by a grant provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.