California DUI News: Servers Arrested in Davis, CA

Posted Friday, May 25, 2007
Categories: Drunk Driving

State and local authorities served arrest warrants on four UC Davis
students Thursday morning in connection with a fatal crash in Sacramento
that recently sent another student to state prison for six years.

Sergei Andres, 19; Conor Tekautz, 19; and Brian Soest, 20; all were
taken into custody at their apartments at 625 Cantrill Drive. Timothy
Gereg, 21, who lives at the same apartment complex, had already left for
a crew team practice but turned himself in later Thursday at the Davis
Police Department.

All four are accused of furnishing alcohol to 19-year-old Eric James
Holmes, who on Feb. 7 caused a head-on collision on Interstate 5 in
Sacramento that killed Amanda LeGrand, 34, of Washington.

Authorities said Holmes, a UCD student who lives in Auburn, was
driving home from a keg party at a Davis apartment. Holmes reportedly had
a blood-alcohol level of .15 – nearly twice the legal limit of .08 – when
he entered I-5 going the wrong direction, colliding with LeGrand’s car in
a crash that also injured the woman’s aunt.

Holmes was sentenced last Friday to six years in state prison after
pleading guilty to a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while
intoxicated.

Thursday’s arrests were made by officers from the California
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, with assistance from Davis
police officers, as part of the state’s recently launched TRACE (Target
Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergencies) program. The program
seeks to determine the sources of alcohol provided to minors who are
involved in serious or fatal traffic collisions.

Joe Galvan, a supervising investigator for ABC, said the TRACE
investigations target bars, restaurants, liquor stores and individuals
who sell or furnish alcohol to people under 21 years of age.

ABC officials took similar action in 2001, when they suspended the
liquor license of The Paragon following the death of David Thornton, a
UCD student who died after consuming 21 alcoholic beverages at the
downtown bar to celebrate his 21st birthday. Authorities said a minor
also was served alcohol during the celebration.

In a settlement with the ABC, The Paragon’s then-owner also agreed to
transfer ownership of the liquor license, change the bar’s name and
dismantle the outdoor patio where Thornton reportedly had consumed his
drinks. Criminal charges also were filed against a Paragon bartender and
waitress, though a jury later acquitted both.

"We’ve always done these types of investigations, but this really
formalized it," Galvan said of the TRACE program. "This is one of the
most important things that we do. Our core enforcement objective is
keeping alcohol away from kids."

Authorities said Gereg purchased the beer keg for the February party,
which was to celebrate Soest’s 20th birthday. Andres, Tekautz and Soest
are accused of furnishing the alcohol to Holmes and several other
underage people.

"They’re not thinking about what’s going to happen when all these
people leave their house," Galvan said. "There needs to be some
accountability there."

The arrested students live at the Sterling Apartments, which
coincidentally was the scene of a huge pre-Picnic Day party last Friday
night that required about 30 law-enforcement officers to bring it under
control. The complex is around the corner from the Davis Police
Department.

Authorities say the gathering involved between 500 and 800 partygoers,
some of whom reportedly pelted officers with glass bottles, food and
other items.

Andres, Gereg, Tekautz and Soest were lodged at the Yolo County Jail
following their arrests on warrants charging them with furnishing alcohol
to a minor and serving an obviously intoxicated individual, both of which
are misdemeanors.

None remained in jail custody as of this morning, but they are
expected to be arraigned next month in Yolo County court. If convicted,
they face up to a year in jail, $1,000 fines and loss of their driving
privileges, Galvan said. They also face discipline by the university.

The protocol for the TRACE program was developed by a coalition of
California law-enforcement and other agencies, including ABC, the
Attorney General’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, Office of
Traffic Safety, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the California Police
Chiefs and Sheriffs associations.

Friday, April 23, 2004
By Lauren Keene
Enterprise staff writer
Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net

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