Joseph Shaun Goodman's seventh DUI arrest came in December 2013 after he led police on a 100 mph chase through downtown Olympia before crashing into a parked car and a home. He was sentenced to work release, which sparked public outrage. A DUI arrest over the weekend in Seattle is his eighth.
This time, when Joseph Shaun Goodman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence — his eighth impaired-driving arrest in 26 years — police tracked him by following a “debris trail and grooves in the sidewalk” left by his Audi, which was missing a tire.
The 47-year-old owner of Vantage Communications was arrested shortly before midnight Saturday after he allegedly crashed into a sign at the end of Bay Street, off Elliott Avenue; left the car; and hid near a stairwell in an alley, according to the Seattle Police Department. Police said they detected a “very strong odor of alcohol” on him.
A witness had called police to report that the driver of an Audi SUV had run a red light and was driving with one tire missing and the car scraping the ground, police said in the incident report.
Goodman, who splits his time between Olympia and Seattle, pleaded not guilty in Seattle Municipal Court on Monday to charges of driving under the influence, hit-and-run involving a parked car, and driving without an interlock device. An ignition interlock analyzes a driver’s breath and prevents a car from being started if alcohol is detected. He was ordered to drive with an interlock device after a previous conviction.
Most Read Local Stories
- The time Seattle neighbors sued Howard Schultz and Kurt Cobain's estate over a driveway in a park
- Seattle upzones 27 neighborhood hubs, passes affordable-housing requirements
- Why are people in Seattle homeless?
- 'We lost one of our finest': Kittitas County deputy shot dead Tuesday night was father of three
- Smoking strong pot daily raises psychosis risk, study finds
Judge Willie Gregory set bail at $250,000 and ordered Goodman to be placed on electronic home monitoring with a device that detects alcohol in the wearer’s perspiration.
Goodman could not be reached by phone for comment on Tuesday.
Goodman’s seventh arrest was in December 2013, after he led police on a 100 mph chase through downtown Olympia, with a passenger screaming and begging to be let out, before he crashed his silver Ferrari into a parked car and a home.
The case sparked a public outcry when he was sentenced to 364 days of work release from jail after a judge determined that a more restrictive sentence would harm his small telecommunications business, his employees and the community.
Under work release, Goodman was allowed to go to work but spent weeknights and weekends in jail.
Critics claimed that Goodman’s wealth got him preferential treatment and a lax sentence. They were outraged, too, when a Thurston County judge allowed Goodman to attend the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey while his criminal case was pending.
However, the sentence was endorsed by both Goodman’s attorney and the Thurston County prosecutor, who explained at the time that the sentence was at the high end of the standard sentencing range for a misdemeanor DUI.
Goodman’s seventh DUI was a misdemeanor, not a felony, because of how Washington state’s DUI laws work. Here, a person can be charged with felony DUI, which carries jail or prison time, if they have been convicted of three prior DUIs in 10 years.
Goodman’s other cases have been spread out just enough that he has never been charged with felony DUI. The previous DUI arrests were in 1993, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2013, according to court records and the Thurston County District Court clerk’s office. The 2011 charge was dismissed after Goodman participated in DUI court.
Now, the state Legislature is considering Senate Bill 5299, which would allow prosecutors to charge someone with felony DUI if the person has had three convictions for impaired driving within 15 years, rather than 10.
Amy Freedheim, a King County senior deputy prosecuting attorney, strongly supports the stricter proposal.
“Repeat DUI offenders are the most dangerous criminals out there. Motor-vehicle crashes are the sixth-leading cause of preventable deaths, and they are on the rise in our state,” Freedheim said. “There is no excuse in 2019 not to use Uber, and anyone who is on their eighth DUI knows that.”
Police said Goodman’s Audi SUV was found on Saturday night at the end of Bay Street, where it had come to rest in the railroad right-of-way. The SUV had heavy damage to the front end, the front axle was snapped, the right front tire and hub were gone and brake fluid was leaking, police said.
A railroad employee directed officers to an alley, where police say they found Goodman in a stairwell.
Police said they smelled alcohol on Goodman’s breath and body, and his face was flushed. Goodman initially claimed he had not been driving and began to “whimper and cry” while being taken into custody, police said.
Goodman told officers he had consumed three glasses of wine at the Seattle Sounders FC game, but that he was “fine to drive,” police wrote in the report.
A computer check revealed Goodman’s previous DUI convictions and that he was required to have an interlock device installed on any car he drives, police wrote, but there was no interlock on the Audi.
Seattle police said that while one officer was doing field-sobriety tests on Goodman, another began an “area check to find out what Goodman had hit.” That officer found a parked vehicle on First Avenue that had been struck. Security video showed the Audi SUV running into the parked vehicle and heading north.
“By following a debris trail and grooves in the sidewalk from Goodman’s hub, (the officer) determined that after hitting the parked car, Goodman went north on First Avenue,” according to the police report. He then turned east on Broad Street, went down an alley, and passed over Clay Street, where his tire was found. Police said he continued over Cedar Street, where he hit a concrete wall, on Vine Street, Wall Street, Western Avenue and back onto Broad Street before turning on Elliott Avenue and finally Bay Street.
Police conducted four breath tests on Goodman at the East Precinct and the results ranged from .141 to .150, nearly twice the legal limit for driving.
Police wrote in the incident report that throughout the arrest process on Saturday, Goodman was “focused on what was going to happen to him” and told officers that he wouldn’t be able to deal with having an interlock device for 10 years.
Police said he “seemed to have no idea the danger he caused to the public on this particular evening.”