North Carolina man gets 9-plus years for habitual DWI
Prosecutors turned to the North Carolina habitual felon statutes in a drunk driving case against a Leland, North Carolina, man. Authorities arrested the man in November on suspicion of driving while impaired. A grand jury later indicted the man as a habitual impaired driver, based in part on evidence that the man had a number of prior impaired driving arrests on his record.
Authorities say that the November 2011 DWI arrest was the 49-year-old defendant’s eighth DWI arrest. Prosecutors say that the man failed field sobriety tests and tested for a 0.10 blood alcohol level in a test on the night of the DWI arrest.
Prosecutors looked to the man’s overall criminal history and say that he has had numerous drunk driving charges, as well as 19 other criminal convictions, the bulk of which are reportedly for felony level offenses. Authorities say the man has priors for forgery, possession of stolen property, drug crimes and breaking and entering.
The habitual felon enhancements significantly increased the Leland man’s exposure to prison time. The defendant was sentenced to about two years behind bars for the November DWI allegations. The two years would have been the maximum sentence allowed, except for the habitual felon statutes. The habitual felon sentencing enhancements more than quadrupled the man’s overall sentence. The judge imposed a sentence of 108 to 138 months-or 9 to 11.5 years– in prison.
The 49-year-old was first convicted of DWI in 1993. He also has prior DWI convictions from 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. The 2007 conviction resulted in a sentence of 1 year and 8 months.
- Star News Online, “Habitual drunken driver gets lengthy prison sentence,” F.T. Norton, July 25, 2012
- WECT “Following 8th DWI conviction, man sentenced to minimum of 9 years,” July 30, 2012