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Drunken driver sentenced

by Tom Hasslinger
| June 29, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - A drunken driver who killed a Washington man in an early morning accident was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison on Wednesday.

But 1st District Judge John T. Mitchell retained jurisdiction on the sentence, recommending Jodi E. Skantel, 48, participate in a therapeutic community and various treatment programs to address alcohol issues if she wanted to avoid incarceration.

"You will be on probation for a very long time," Mitchell told Skantel during the sentence hearing. "If you ever drink again you will be in front of me so quickly and on your way to prison."

Three of the 15 years were fixed, with the remaining 12 indeterminate.

She will lose her driver's license for five years once she is out, and was ordered to pay restitution to the victim's widow of $3,316.29. Additional restitution will be left open until Sept. 1, 2011, according to court files.

Skantel was credited with 279 days served.

In November she pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter after fatally injuring 51-year-old Michael Pritiken in a head-on collision near Worley on July 13, 2009.

According to court reports, Skantel was driving south on the highway when she collided with Pritiken, a Pullman, Wash., resident who was traveling north around 6:30 that morning near milepost 398.

Her blood alcohol level was .22 at the time, nearly triple the legal limit of .08 to operate a motor vehicle. She was listed in critical condition at Kootenai Medical Center following the accident.

"The Boise women's facility has a lot of programs to help women," Mitchell said, referring to the Idaho Department of Correction South Boise Women's Correctional Center. "It's a good opportunity."

Participating in therapeutic community while on the retained jurisdiction will help address Skantel's addiction to alcohol as well as post traumatic stress disorder, Mitchell said. She should also sign up for a Good Samaritan inpatient treatment program with pastor Tim Remington.

Skantel had served five days in Kootenai County jail and one year on probation after being arrested in Post Falls in 2007 for driving under the influence.

She was arrested by Post Falls police at the time after she ran a red light and had a blood alcohol level between .299 and .317, according to police reports.

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