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Repeat drunk driving suspect gets 10 years after 16th conviction

The more driving while intoxicated convictions a North Carolina resident has on his or her record, the more severe the criminal consequences will be for each additional offense. One man from Gaston County, North Carolina, has found that out the hard way. His first DWI happened in the early 1980s, and his 16th conviction happened last May.

Even though the man has not had a drivers' license in over 20 years, he has continued to drive, and according to the North Carolina court system, he has also been driving drunk. However, last May the man was caught in a car accident with a minivan. The collision caused the minivan to strike another vehicle and it caused the convicted man's vehicle to go directly into a ditch.

The man's last DWI conviction came with a 24-month-long prison sentence. However, in the case regarding his DWI and car crash in May, the man was charged as a habitually impaired driver -- a status mandated for all drivers convicted three times of DWI within a 10-year period.

As North Carolina courts see it, DWI drivers are endangering the lives of other citizens. As such, penalties for a DWI-related offense are particularly costly and severe. That said, just because a driver is accused of DWI does not mean that he or she is actually guilty of the offense.

Many North Carolina drivers are able to successfully defend themselves against a DWI charge and have the charges dropped or dismissed. However, even if the evidence against the driver is particularly strong, he or she may be able to employee different DWI defense strategies to try and lessen the ultimate punishment and penalties associated with conviction.

Source: fox46charlotte.com, "Gaston Co. man sentenced to 10 years after 16th DWI," Jenyne Donaldson, Dec. 06, 2016

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