Terry Ash, 55, of Boise, Idaho, has been convicted of DUI 14 times in the last 32 years. Six of those DUI convictions were felonies, but just to keep things interesting, Ash has also been convicted of felony grand theft and issuing bad checks for a grand total of 8 felony convictions. The last time Ash was arrested for DUI, stemming from a 2011 single vehicle accident in which his blood alcohol level was .13, the prosecutor asked the court for a life sentence. A jury convicted Ash of felony DUI in June 2012. He was scheduled to be sentenced in August, but the judge postponed the sentencing and ordered Ash to undergo a mental evaluation prior to sentencing. On October 16 Ada County Judge Patrick Owen, told Ash he was a “menace to society,” and that to protect the pubic he was sentencing him to life in prison. Ash will be eligible for parole in 15 years.
The question of how many DUIs is enough to warrant a life sentence is coming up more and more as DUI sentences get stiffer. Here’s a quick list of examples that show that the range of sentences varies dramatically:
- In 2010 Bobby Stovall, 54, was sentenced to life by a Texas judge after the judge found out that he had eight prior convictions for DUI. Stovall had been arrested after an accident in which his blood alcohol level found to be .32. He reportedly wove across several lanes of traffic and hit another vehicle, injuring the driver.
- In 2011 California man Ivan Camargo killed mother-of-three Pauline Rangel when he ran a stop sign and hit her SUV at 76 miles per hour. It was his third offense involving a DUI and was sentenced to life in prison.
- In March of 2012, Richard Anthony Caporal, 56, a Pennsylvania man, who a judge called a roadway “terrorist,” received a 15 year sentence for his 15th DUI conviction.
- In August 2012 Robert Groethe, 60, of South Dakota, who has a 35-year history of DUI convictions was sentenced to two years for his 16th DUI.
- In July of that same year Michael Thomas Hopkins, 49, of Alabama, pleaded guilty to his 18th DUI and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
- In May of 2012 George Greer of Ohio was sentenced to ten years for his 19th DUI, after passing out behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of .215, and crashing into a pole.
- And the prize for 20 DUI convictions goes to a Canadian man, Moris Dizenbach of Sicamous, British Columbia. He was sentenced to four-and-a-half years, and was banned from driving for the rest of his life, though how anyone can guarantee that he will never get behind the wheel of a car again is an open question.
Slideshow: Drunk & Ridiculous