By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
A Kansas man who was determined to have a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit when he caused an injury accident on Interstate 70 in Ellis County last year pleaded no contest to a pair of felony charges Wednesday in Ellis County District Court.
Sergio Torres-Ramirez, 61, Wichita, was initially charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor, and three felony counts of aggravated battery while driving under the influence.
According to court documents, the Kansas Highway Patrol was alerted to a driver that was swerving all over the road and failing to maintain his lane on the afternoon of Oct. 21, 2022.
When a highway patrol trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, about a mile east of Walker, the vehicle left the road and collided with a vehicle parked on the side of the road.
Torres-Ramirez was identified as the driver of the vehicle.
He was taken to Hays Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and a blood sample was taken. According to evidence presented in Ellis County District Court, Torres-Ramirez had a blood alcohol level of 0.28.
A teenage female passenger inside the car hit by Torres-Ramirez and two females who were standing outside, near the parked vehicle, were all injured and taken to Hays Medical Center.
As a result of a plea agreement, the state elected to dismiss the misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and one of the felony aggravated battery while DUI charges.
He pleaded no contest Wednesday and was found guilty on two felony counts of aggravated battery while DUI.
According to Kansas Sentencing Guidelines, Torres-Ramirez faces between seven and 23 months in prison. Because of his criminal history, the sentence is presumptive probation. The plea agreement calls for 18 months of probation.
Sentencing in the case is set for July.