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Man arrested after backing up into officer near DUI checkpoint

SAN RAFAEL — An unlicensed and apparently drunken driver struck and injured a San Rafael police officer near a downtown DUI checkpoint Wednesday, police said.

At 11:15 p.m., motorcycle Officer Christopher Sweeney — an eight-year veteran of the department — was parked on his bike with other officers at the Shell station at 834 Irwin St., police said. A pre-Thanksgiving DUI checkpoint was taking place down the street at Irwin and Fifth Avenue.

A driver headed north on Irwin approaching Third Street stopped his Ford Explorer, put it in reverse and backed up into the driveway where Sweeney was parked in an apparent attempt to avoid the checkpoint, police said. The vehicle struck Sweeney, who was treated for

sprains and bruises and released from the hospital Thursday.

Other officers arrested Guillermo Garcia Rodriguez, 43, of Novato, on suspicion of felony drunken driving causing injuries.

Police couldn’t determine Garcia Rodriguez’s blood-alcohol level but said he displayed signs of intoxication. They also said he is unlicensed to drive.

He remained in custody Thursday in lieu of $50,000 bail and subject to a federal immigration hold.

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