Dawn Vrentas' blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when a Washington State Patrol trooper stopped her along Interstate 5 in July of 2013. The 32-year-old Edmonds woman was pulled over while driving home drunk from a party on Capitol Hill in Seattle.
Vrentas received her first DUI in 2001 when she was just 18 years old.
Four years later, drunk again after a party just north of Spokane, she veered off a road and crashed into a pond. Vrentas' two friends, Kyle Hutchinson and Wally Corman, died in the crash, and Vrentas' was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison.
Friday in court, defense attorneys painted a picture of a woman let down by the court system, claiming Vrentas first addiction counselor abused her, which sent her spiraling into years of depression.
"She was experiencing severe psychological distress - experiencing numbness to her own emotional needs," said Kimberly Gordon, defense attorney for Vrentas."She suffered this abuse so early on, right after her first DUI, and she did not get the help that she needed."
Prosecutors argued none of that excuses drinking and driving for a third time, especially given the deadly consequences from her last DUI.
"This is a prison term for a reason," King County Superior Court Judge Barbara Linde said in court.
The sister of one of Vrentas' victims wrote in an email, "I was appalled that after killing two people, Dawn made the choice to drink and drive again. It feels like my brother's life and death meant nothing to her. She needs to be removed from the streets."
With her family looking on, deputies removed Vrentas from court, and took her handcuffed to jail, again.