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Tim Solano gets maximum prison time for his 6th DWI

SANTA FE — A state District Court judge on Friday gave Tim Solano the maximum amount of new prison time for his latest DWI arrest, which came just a little over two months after he’d been released after serving 10 years for killing a Santa Fe woman while driving drunk.

Judge Mary Marlow Sommer rejected the idea of letting Solano go free with probation after pleading guilty to his sixth DWI conviction.


Tim Solano (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

“If the death of a person did not stop you from drinking and driving, then surely probation won’t stop you from drinking and driving,”  she told Solano, 46.

For the latest case, he will the serve maximum two and a half years in prison. He was arrested Dec. 12 for driving with a blood alcohol content of .21 or .22 percent, nearly triple the presumed level of intoxication.

Solano had been released from prison on Sept. 23 last year after serving time for driving into and killing 58-year-old bicyclist Judith Scassera-Cinciripini in July 2005 on Old Santa Fe Trail. In that case, Solano pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, and then-District Court Judge Michael Vigil sentenced him to 12 years in prison followed by two years of probation, and required him to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence regardless ‘good time’ sentence reductions.

Solano’s parole was revoked in May because of the latest DWI and he is now required to serve out the full sentence for the 2005 case as well as the additional time Marlowe Sommer doled out Friday.

Sydney West, Solano’s attorney, argued that incarceration won’t help Solano with his alcohol problem and asked Marlowe Sommer to consider allowing Solano to go on probation after this vehicular homicide sentence is completed.

“Statistics show that the longer you’re in prison, the more likely you are to re-offend,” West said. She said that “the most important thing to the community is that he gets supervision as long as possible.”

Solano got his first DWI in 1991 and seriously hurt another woman in a 1999 drunk-driving crash. Prosecutor Marko Hananel said Solano “deserves harsh treatment from this court” for his DWI history and said the only way to keep him from hurting someone else is to keep him behind bars.

“The defendant is a perfect example of the threat drunk drivers pose to the city and to the state,” Hananel said. “Drunk drivers maim and kill people, it’s only a matter of time and circumstance. He chooses to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle drunk. There’s no way to protect the community other than to incarcerate him.”

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