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5th DWI nets Covington man 25 years in prison

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A Covington man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after picking up his fifth arrest for DWI last year.

The Louisiana man, 42 years-old, was found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs, his fifth time getting such a conviction, by Judge Raymond Childress during a judge trial earlier this month in Covington.

He was arrested by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies in March, 2011 when he crashed his vehicle north of Covington, Louisiana. The gentleman ran a stop sign at North Fitzmorris Road and Louisiana 1081, careened into a ditch and flipped his car.

Toxicology tests taken after the arrest found the drugs clonazepam, norpropoxyphene, butalbital, and paroxetine, according to the district attorney.

The Covington, Louisiana man was found guilty of his first DWI in 1990. He pleaded guilty to a second in 1997 and was sentenced to serve six months in the parish jail followed by two years on probation. The following year he pleaded guilty to his third and fourth charges. For the third, he was sentenced to three years, 2 1/2 suspended in favor of probation. He was sentenced to ten years for the fourth conviction and fined five thousand dollars.

Convictions for driving while intoxicated in Louisiana stack up for up to ten years, though any time the defendant spends awaiting trial, on probation, incarcerated or under attachment for failing to appear in court is added on top of that cleansing period. Fourth and subsequent DWI convictions can be punished by up to 30 years in prison.

Since his first arrest in 1990, the Covington, Louisiana man was either awaiting trial or incarcerated for a combined total of more than fifteen years, allowing for all of his convictions to be included in the recent charge.

On the fifth DWI, Judge Raymond Childress sentenced the man on to serve 25 years in prison, two of which must be served without the benefit of parole, probation or suspended sentence. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and court costs and was recommended to participate in substance abuse treatment while incarcerated.

If you or anyone youy know has been arrested for DWI, call Harmon Smith & Vourvoulias immediately at 504-717-2093 for a free consultation. Our experienced DUI lawyers are available to provide you with the help you need to protect your rights.

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About George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile

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