A Germantown resident was sentenced to three years behind bars and five years of supervised probation on Wednesday by a Montgomery County judge for driving while under the influence of drugs and leading 5th District – Germantown police on a 10 minute, often high-speed chase through Germantown ending with a crash in a cul-de-sac.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Dugan, Jr. handed down the sentence, which is the statutory maximum to 41-year-old Lalona Q. Davis, of the Briarcliff Terrace in Germantown on Sept. 16. Davis was found guilty of driving while impaired by drugs, in this case, Phencyclidine — also known as PCP— by a jury on June 30, 2016.
According to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, this is the fifth time Davis has been convicted of driving while impaired by the influence of drugs.
“Today’s sentence after the conviction by a jury last June is a way to keep the public safe from this out-of-control defendant,” said Ramon Korionoff, of the State’s Attorney’s Office. “Her actions have endangered the public for many years and while we empathize with her need for mental health and drug abuse treatment, we commend Judge Dugan for his stiff sentence sending a message that enough is enough – being in denial about drug abuse and not adhering to the strict regimen of the court imposed programs on many other occasions does not allow you a free pass or Get out of Jail Free Card.”
Davis was arrested in September of 2015, after leading eight MCPD police cars on a harrowing chase, which was all caught on police dash cam video. The chase which snaked through residential Germantown streets lasted over 10 minutes and reached speeds of over 80 miles per hour.
The chase began when a Montgomery County Police Officer Corey Peterson became suspicious of Davis at a stop light at the intersection of Crystal Rock Drive and Father Hurley Boulevard at 12:52 am on Sept. 2, 2015, according to the charging documents in the case. After running the license plate on a red Chevrolet Cavalier, that was driving northbound on Crystal Rock Drive, it was determined that the driver did not have a valid Maryland driver’s license.
When Officer Peterson attempted to initiate a traffic stop after the Cavalier made a right onto Father Hurley Boulevard, Davis refused to stop, according to court documents. She would then lead police on a chase through Germantown from Father Hurley Boulevard; Davis turned right onto eastbound Observation Drive. Davis did not stop at the four-way stop at Observation Drive and Boland Farm Road and blew right through a red blinking light while making a right turn on the Germantown Road.
As more MCPD police cars joined the chase at Germantown Road, Davis made a left turn at Middlebrook Road despite the solid red arrow at the intersection. Once on Middlebrook Road, “Davis began to speed up very rapidly,” according to court documents. “Speeds reached 70 mph. Davis crossed over Frederick Road continuing to travel eastbound on Middlebrook Road and failed to stop at a steady red traffic signal,” said the documents. Davis sped through the intersection at MD-355 and Middlebrook Road forcing vehicles to stop in the intersection.
The far end of Middlebrook Road becomes Mid-County Highway and eventually comes to an end. At this point, Davis drove the winding residential streets of Grassy Knoll Terrace and drove up a driveway and over a lawn in an attempt to turn around. It was here that police were able to stop and apprehend her. She resisted arrest and
Police found vials of PCP in the car, and she refused to participate in a sobriety test. She was taken to the 5th District police station.
Davis has long history driving while impaired or drug possession offenses and in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In December of 2009, she was charged and convicted of a third DUI offense within five years in Fairfax County, Va.
“Not abiding by the probationary terms of her prior convictions and not having a proper driving license or other information to present to authorities makes a very difficult situation for the general public to feel safe on the road,” said Korionoff. “If you have an individual that doesn’t abide by the regulations, in this case, her license had been suspended prior [to her arrest in Sept. 2015] – that means don’t drive on our roads. She chose to do that, and the sentence and the conviction by the jury back in June are the first steps to holding her accountable and getting her treatment and becoming a productive member of society.”
“We empathize with this individual,” said Korionoff. “We think, obviously, that she needs drug treatment and some mental evaluation, and mental health treatment, but we concur with the judge in that to keep the public safe, we have to keep her off the streets.”
Photo and video courtesy Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.