A Petaluma woman who caused a chain-reaction crash while driving on Lakeville Highway apparently was intoxicated at more than three times the legal limit, police officials reported Tuesday.

Petaluma officers have responded to three crashes in three days involving suspected drunken drivers, said Lt. Tim Lyons.

Police records showed the city has had 57 crashes caused by suspected intoxicated drivers with 20 people injured since the start of the year.

In the same period in 2011, there were 49 such crashes and 12 injuries.

Driver Patricia Dailey, 66, was on Lakeville Highway at about 12:10 p.m. Monday when she rear-ended a vehicle, pushing it into another vehicle, Lyons reported.

One fuel tank ruptured requiring firefighters and public works crews to clean up the gas leak.

A preliminary alcohol test showed Dailey to be more than a .24 blood alcohol level, said Lyons. The legal limit for drivers is .08 percent.

Officers arrested Dailey, who was booked into the Sonoma County Jail.

No one was injured in the crash, Lyons said.

On Monday at about 10:20 a.m. a 46-year-old driver was pulled over by police, who found he had a preliminary blood alcohol level of more than .16 percent, said Lyons.

Petaluma officers have arrested 274 suspected drunken drivers so far in 2012, compared to 300 during the same time period in 2011, according to police reports.

Petaluma officers will be conducting checkpoints and added drunken driving patrols during the extended holiday season.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.

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