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Man who served time in fatal DUI, gets another

Monday, April 23, 2012

Porterville Police say a man who already served jail time for a fatal DUI crash was back on the streets this past weekend driving intoxicated.

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Investigators say Robert Van Winkle was driving in the area of Putnam and Plano just before 10pm Saturday night when he was pulled over by a DUI enforcement officer for a traffic infraction.

Police say Van Winkle took officers on a high speed chase for four miles and was driving erratically. Eventually, the chase ended when Van Winkle tried to make a quick u-turn and accidentally disabled his car. Police say once his car stopped he continued to try and evade arrest.

During a field sobriety test, officers determined Van Winkle was under the influence of alcohol and a narcotic.

Van Winkle is still on probation from the June 2010 accident that killed his 17-year-old brother, Jacob as they were driving along Balch Park Road above Springville, not far from their house.

Jacob and his brother had been at a party drinking. Jacob was supposed to graduate from Porterville High School later that day.

Just a year and a half has passed since Van Winkle and his friends and family made a tearful plea to the judge to grant him leniency when he faced vehicular manslaughter charges for the crash. He served a year in jail and was required to complete substance abuse treatment.

Robert Van Winkle is facing charges for DUI, reckless driving and violating his probation. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

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Tags:
crimetracker, dui, court, tulare county, porterville, springville, local, jessica peres
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