Edmonds man charged with felony DUI after 7th arrest

“The state considers him a substantial risk to public safety,” a deputy prosecutor says of David Gama.

EVERETT — Prosecutors hope to keep an Edmonds man locked up after what they contend is at least his seventh drunken-driving arrest, the third in the last six years.

David Joseph Gama, 52, has been convicted three times of DUI in the last decade and has a total of six such convictions for that and related offenses during his lifetime, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow said in court papers.

Gama now is charged with felony DUI after an Oct. 12 arrest in Edmonds. He’s been locked up since in the Snohomish County Jail.

“The state considers him a substantial risk to public safety and requests that bail remain set at $400,000,” Darrow told the court.

Under a new state law, repeat DUI offenders face prison instead of jail time if they have been convicted of impaired driving three or more times in 10 years.

Gama’s latest legal trouble came after he was spotted in the parking lot of an Edmonds-area fast food restaurant, reportedly behind the wheel.

His Honda was mangled on one side, apparently from clipping an adjacent vehicle while backing into a parking spot.

A Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy said he was rewarded with a blast of booze breath when he asked the defendant to roll down the window.

The deputy told Gama he’d hit another car.

“The defendant replied ‘I did? I don’t think so,’” Darrow said in court papers.

Gama fumbled when he attempted to remove his license from his wallet. He reportedly had droopy, blood-shot eyes and slurred speech.

The deputy ordered Gama out of the vehicle. Instead, the defendant apparently had other ideas, Darrow wrote.

The defendant tried to put the car into gear, but that didn’t work. He then tried to turn over the ignition. That didn’t work either.

The keys were in Gama’s lap, Darrow reported.

The deputy grabbed the keys, removed the defendant from the car and placed him under arrest.

He reportedly cursed the officer, apologized and then tried to run away before being tackled to the ground.

Police got a judge’s permission to draw the defendant’s blood for testing. Results are pending.

Gama already has six felony convictions, mostly for drugs and attempting to elude police. He also amassed 57 misdemeanors between 1985 and 2014, according to court records.

He told police after his most recent arrest that he was upset after having broken up with his girlfriend that morning, Darrow wrote.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.

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