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Cass County Courthouse photo

PLATTSMOUTH – A Plattsmouth woman who committed her fourth lifetime DUI offense earlier this year will spend time in jail for the crime.

Tiffany S. Costello, 33, appeared in Cass County District Court Monday morning for a sentencing hearing. She pled guilty in July to a Class W misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol-third offense.

Prosecutors had originally charged Costello with a Class IIIA felony of DUI-fourth offense. They agreed to reduce the charge in exchange for her guilty plea.

All three of Costello’s previous DUI convictions happened in Douglas County. They took place in December 2006, September 2010 and June 2011.

Local authorities learned March 3 that a drunk driver was preparing to cross the Platte River Bridge into Cass County during the overnight hours. A concerned citizen told authorities the driver had started the trip in Douglas County and had traveled through Sarpy County on Highway 75.

Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped Costello’s car at the intersection of Highway 75 and Bay Road at 4:10 a.m. She told them she had consumed wine earlier that evening. A chemical breath test revealed a blood-alcohol content level of .127.

Deputy County Attorney Richard Fedde told the court he was concerned about Costello’s criminal history. He said she had been convicted of theft in both 2003 and 2006 and disturbing the peace in 2004. There were also multiple convictions for driving under suspension.

“She clearly knows she’s not supposed to drive, but she ignores that and drives anyway,” Fedde said.

Fedde said he was also worried about the number of DUI convictions that had taken place over the past 12 years. He asked the court to revoke her driver’s license for 15 years because of that.

“She said she feels like she doesn’t have a problem with alcohol,” Fedde said. “I would submit that anytime you have four DUIs you have a serious problem with alcohol. There’s a serious problem with ignoring the law and driving when you’re not supposed to.”

Defense attorney Julie Bear asked the court to place her client on probation. She said Costello had enrolled in a treatment program and was willing to follow all probation terms.

Judge Michael Smith said he felt Costello was not a suitable candidate for probation because of the large number of DUI convictions. He ordered her to serve 90 days in Cass County Jail. She will be required to pay a $1,000 fine and all court costs. Her driver’s license will also be suspended for the maximum term of 15 years.

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