After serving 5 years for two DUI-related deaths, Edmonds woman arrested again for drunken driving

Dawn Vrentes (Facebook photo)
Dawn Vrentas (Facebook photo)

An Edmonds woman who was convicted of vehicular homicide a decade ago is back in court again.

This time, Dawn Vrentas is facing possible felony DUI charges stemming from a 1 a.m. traffic stop last Saturday on Interstate 5 near 145th Street. Charging documents say she was pulled over by a Washington State Patrol trooper for speeding. Vrentas denied any alcohol consumption at the scene. The trooper noticed a “strong odor” of alcohol and administered a breathalyzer test, which indicated a blood alcohol level of 0.14. The legal limit in Washington State is 0.08. She was taken into custody and her car was towed to a Northgate-area tow yard.

The King County District Court judge Arthur Chapman set bond at $750,000. She posted bond and was released on Monday. Her release conditions specify that she cannot drive and must remain clean and sober. According to Dan Donahoe of the King County Prosecutor’s Office, formal charges will be filed Wednesday.

Vrentas has a history of drunken driving offenses dating back to a DUI conviction in Spokane County in 2000 when she was in her late teens.

Then in 2003 the 22-year old Vrentas lost control of her car on Highway 211 near Davis Lake while returning from a party in northeastern Washington’s Pend Orielle County. The car landed in the water. She escaped from the car, but her two passengers died in the crash. Vrentas’ blood alcohol level was 0.16.

She was released on bail while awaiting trial, but according to Pend Orielle County Prosecutor records was rearrested for violating the conditions of her release by drinking at a party.

Convicted on two counts of vehicular homicide, Vrentas was sentenced to serve five and a half years. She was released in 2007 from the Washington State Correctional Center for Women in Gig Harbor.

After her release, Vrentas began work with the Post-Prison Education Program, which helps former prisoners return to society by providing access to higher education. By all reports she was well liked by staff and students, and did an effective and exemplary job. Six months ago she was promoted to managing director of the program.

Prior to this recent incident, Vrentas had been employed by the City of Edmonds Parks Department at Yost Pool, but according to Mayor Dave Earling “she no longer works for the City.”

— By Larry Vogel



11 Replies to “After serving 5 years for two DUI-related deaths, Edmonds woman arrested again for drunken driving”

  1. She is a dangerous twit. How many times did she drive drunk before getting caught? So glad she made the $750,000 bail and can still drive along side the rest of us. I really do not want her on the same roads as my children and grandchildren. Will the judge have the courage and intelligence to lock up a young white women for an appropriate amount of time? Probably not – but we can hope.


      1. Nine months after my post? OK Dick… You make me feel so much better. “Not allowed to drive & must stay sober.” Just like when she was caught drinking while out on bail after killing two people in 2003. The only way to keep this woman sober & away from driving is to put her in a cell. Period. Maybe one of us did not read the article.


  2. Really…Judge Chapman what are you thinking? This is why our governor is fighting for tougher DUI laws. I’d like to see you behind bars.


  3. Locking up an alcoholic has never been known to be a CURE for ALCOHOLISM or any other ADDICTION. Don’t you think if it was, we would know by now. SHAMING also never has been known to cure ADDICTION. Posting a large picture of this woman I guess is our modern equivalent of the big Scarlet S. ….Shame on this news source for posting this image of this woman (I’m sure she has enough SHAME with her addiction) Eighty percent of the people in our prisons and jails have ADDICTIONS! There are thousands and thousands behind bars for their addictions. Makes NO difference. We need treatment centers, not more prisoners. We need to spend our money on EDUCATING people about addiction and having treatment centers to cure this DISEASE. This isn’t the 1930s! Makes no difference, whether it is food, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc……Addiction is addiction. ……If you want to lock someone up, make them stay in a treatment center, where they might actually get help. ….Fine, lock the doors, but at least get them ACCESS to good TREATMENT!


  4. @ Tere: I can understand your frustration, but can’t you understand ours? Fine, she has an illness. One that she obviously has the money to treat if she wanted to. We just want her to stay off the road!! Driving is not a right, it’s a privilege, and she lost her’s when she took two lives. What do you tell their parents “oh, she has an illness”? She should not be allowed to drive ever again, or at least until she can prove 5 years of sobriety. Maybe you can give her a ride home from the party next time.


  5. Thank you for posting her picture! Now I know if I see her driving to get away as best I can. So what that she has an addiction to a disease? She should NOT be on the road at all.


    1. Janet Hutchinson, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your child. You’ve experienced every mother’s worst fear, I don’t think I could be as strong as you. Your comment on here was so right on. Thank you.


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