Change in law results in longer sentence for drunken driver

Staff writerMay 14, 2013 

A Federal Way woman has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for a fatal crash that killed a 48-year-old University Place woman last year.

Michelle Leigh Dittamore, 32, drank a tumbler of pink champagne and took a prescription drug known to cause drowsiness before taking the keys to her father’s sports car without permission.

Her 4-year-old son was in the passenger seat June 7 when Dittamore’s car crossed the centerline on Pacific Highway South in Federal Way and slammed head-on into Jana Lynne Berry’s vehicle.

Berry’s car spun around from the force and was broadsided by another vehicle. She died instantly.

When police arrived, they noticed Dittamore appeared under the influence and noted that she repeatedly insisted her son was with his father.

The boy suffered minor injuries.

The fatal crash happened mere hours after then-Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a bill that increased prison terms for those convicted of vehicular homicide to six to 8ß, from the previous 2½ to 3½ years.

Dittamore’s license was suspended in 2009, and she was not insured to drive at the time of the collision.

Her sentencing was Friday.

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