The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Man receives 17th DUI, should serve full sentence

A 46-year-old man received his 17th drunken driving conviction Monday, April 8 after pleading no contest in Brown County Court. Arthur Hill agreed to make the plea in lieu of a trial that was to begin Monday in Green Bay. Hill has a disgraceful 17 convictions since 1977 for operating while intoxicated, according to court records. That’s got to be some kind of record.

C’mon Arthur, did you really need those last 14 Busch Lights before you got behind the wheel? Is it worth five years in prison? I doubt it.

There was a day when the maximum punishment for an DUI conviction in Wisconsin was one year, but times have changed and so has the law. The current maximum penalty for an DUI charge is five years in prison. Wisconsin law prevents prosecutors from using convictions before 1988, so Hill was charged with his 11th offense – a felony. Brown County Judge J.D. McKay could send Hill to prison for five years when he is sentenced Friday, May 31.

Sure Wisconsinites have been known to have a beer or three on occasion, but Hill probably drinks a beer or three for breakfast – always the first sign of alcoholism.

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Wisconsin law also states that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if your BAC exceeds .10 percent. Wisconsin observes a “per se” DUI law which maintains that it is illegal to operate a vehicle if you exceed the required BAC legal limit.

The night of Hill’s 17th began when he ran into a guardrail and sideswiped an oncoming car on Nov. 15, police said. His blood alcohol concentration two hours after the crash was .272 percent, nearly three times the legal limit. Hill’s impairment in this case is evident.

Hill’s reckless disregard for the law affirms his reckless disregard for life. The fact that he’s acquired 17 DUI’s tells me that he takes no responsibility whatsoever when drinking alcohol.

Is there a solution to keep Hill from driving drunk? Sentencing Hill to five years in prison isn’t my first solution to prison overcrowding, but it could be a start in helping keep repeat offenders off the road. Revoking Hill’s license is not going to keep him off the road, but prison will. In-patient treatment may be another solution that could prove costly yet effective.

A recently released Department of Transportation study lists drunken driving offenses for 2000, ranking some of the dumbest drunk drivers out there who are striving for Hill’s record. (Drum roll please) And the winner is … St. Croix County has the highest drunken driving total among counties in west-central Wisconsin. One person was arrested for their 13th drunken driving offense in 2000. Eau Claire County had one person arrested for a ninth DUI offense proving yet again that there’s booze in the clear water. Two people were arrested in Chippewa County in 2000 for their eighth drunken driving offenses and one person racked up an eighth offense in Dunn County in 2000.

Even more astounding, Hill hasn’t had a driver’s license in more than a decade. I don’t think this phased Hill. Instead, he chose to cruise the open road and he got busted … again.

Most people probably know somebody with a DUI. It’s a mindless crime that in its worst case scenario, could result in a manslaughter charge hanging over one’s head. But most people who have received a DUI charge usually learn their lesson the first time and don’t make the same mistake. Hill deserves the maximum sentence and in-patient DUI treatment.

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Man receives 17th DUI, should serve full sentence