Canyon County

Repeat DUI driver who injured 2 in head-on collision will spend at least 3 years in prison

Arlene M. Schmidt
Arlene M. Schmidt

A Middleton driver whose blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit when she crashed head-on into a truck carrying a man and his 10-year-old daughter last October was sent to prison Monday, according to the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office.

Judge Thomas W. Whitney sentenced Arlene M. Schmidt, 62, to 11 years in prison. She won’t be eligible for parole for three years. She was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine, plus court costs.

Schmidt was on probation for a 2016 DUI at the time of the crash and was not supposed to be driving a car without an ignition interlock, a device that prevents the car from starting if the driver has been drinking alcohol.

“Ms. Schmidt showed she has no regard for the laws of this state by skirting her probation and driving drunk in a car that she had no business being behind the wheel of, then crashing the car into an innocent family,” said Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor in a press release about the sentencing. “This was a serious crime that deserves severe punishment. I’m thankful she is headed to prison for the protection of society.”

Schmidt pleaded guilty to one count of felony aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. Her driver’s license will be suspended for five years upon her release from prison, according to online court records.

The crash occurred in October on Idaho Highway 44 in Middleton.

Investigators said Schmidt veered in front of the truck, causing the head-on collision. The crash broke the driver’s nose and cut his face, while his daughter’s jaw was broken.

A breathalyzer test done on Schmidt at the scene showed she had .200 BAC, more than twice the legal limit of .08 BAC.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller