Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Man pleads guilty in 12th drunk driving case

On May 24, a 59-year-old Ohio man pleaded guilty to his 12th drunk driving offense. He has now been sentenced to four years in prison minus 138 days already served at Lucas County jail in addition to having his drivers license permanently revoked. The court also imposed a $2,500 fine and ordered him to seek alcohol treatment.

According to authorities, the arrest in question occurred on Jan. 19 at about 10 p.m. An officer from the Ohio Highway Patrol saw the man's vehicle stop at the intersection of Main Street and Starr Avenue. However, the vehicle then proceeded to make a left turn onto Starr while the light was still red. The officer noted that the man had a strong odor of alcohol on his person, and the man responded that he always had one.

In court, the defendant said that there was no excuse for what happened and that he needed to make changes. His attorney asked the court to put him on community control and under other conditions as opposed to spending time in prison. The man was first convicted for OVI in 1986 and had been charged with felony OVI in 2011 because of his previous convictions.

In most cases, an OVI may be treated as a misdemeanor. However, charges may be upgraded for those who have prior records or if a case involves aggravating factors. Individuals who are convicted of such a charge may spend time in jail or prison in addition to paying fines or losing their licenses. An attorney might try to cast doubt on the way that the sobriety tests were administered or might challenge the traffic stop as being made without the required reasonable suspicion.

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