Police: Bakersfield man had BAC more than 3 times legal limit after crash

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man accused of hitting two bicyclists with his SUV then leaving the scene had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit, according to police.

Joshua Larue Ramage had a BAC of .25 percent after the May 1 crash near the intersection of Stockdale Highway and California Avenue, a police report says. The legal limit is .08 percent.

Ramage cursed during field sobriety tests and said he had “ruined his life” because this was his third DUI, the report says.

Both bicyclists were injured in the crash. One suffered a head injury “causing neurological issues,” abdominal bleeding and a fractured pelvis, police said.

Ramage, 41, faces DUI- and hit-and-run-related charges. He’s free on $75,000 bail and due back in court July 7.

The crash was reported at 9:16 p.m. and Officer Jeremy Wolter was headed to the scene when he saw a white Ford Excursion with damage to its passenger side headlight driving south on Rio Bravo Drive. Believing the SUV was involved in the crash, Wolter pulled the vehicle over, according to the report.

Ramage, the driver and sole occupant, got out of the SUV and told the officer he had been in a crash and was trying to find his way back to it.

“I hit those people,” Ramage said according to the report.

He told Wolter he had a “couple beers” at a restaurant and was returning home, driving west on Stockdale Highway, when he tried to merge from the slow lane to the middle lane. He said he was checking his blind spot when the crash occurred.

Ramage told Wolter he didn’t see the bicyclists until after the crash. He said he turned into a neighborhood and was trying to circle back when he got lost, the report says.

Ramage had slurred speech, the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, red and watery eyes and was unsteady on his feet, according to the report. Questioned further about his alcohol consumption, Ramage said he drank seven cans of Coors beer from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., police said.

He failed three field sobriety tests, turning in the wrong direction during the walk and turn and placing his foot down to prevent himself from falling during the one-leg stand, according to the report.

Wolter arrested Ramage and seized his driver’s license.

According to court records, Ramage pleaded no contest to DUI-related offenses in 2005 and 2010. He pleaded no contest in 2000 to assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.

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