An Ohio man was convicted of his twenty-first DUI recently, and with a dramatic statement a judge sentenced him to ten years in prison, representing the maximum term possible in the case.
Forty-five-year old Kevin J. Ante did not comment as the Butler County judge handed him the sentence in Common Pleas Court. According to authorities, they initially knew of 17 of Ante’s DUI offenses. Recently, however, they uncovered four more DUI convictions on his extensive record.
Even Ante’s lawyer, David S. Washington Jr., was surprised at this development. Whatever the final count, Washington agreed, it was far too many DUI convictions.
Ante was only recently released from prison on the same charges of drunk driving. He served a four year sentence, and was picked up for his latest DUI only 90 days after his release.
According to police, Ante even attempted to evade arrest when he was stopped on December 3, 2009. He got about a quarter mile away before they were able to pull him over. Police quickly smelled alcohol and realized that Ante was confused or unresponsive, according to WKRC in Cincinnati, and he was arrested for DUI.
The judge in this latest case, Judge Michael Sage, said that he had never seen such a case in 20 years as a judge and 30 years as a lawyer. Judge Sage made reference to the 2005 DUI that landed Ante the four year sentence.
“You served every day of that,” Sage said as he made his ruling. “I struggle with cases like this,” he continued, “because, in my mind, alcoholism is a disease.” Sage noted, however, that Ante did not use his previous time in prison to address his problems with alcohol.
In making his decision to enforce the maximum sentence, Sage said that he was protecting the public. “You are a ticking time bomb waiting to kill somebody,” he told Ante.
Ante’s 21 drunk driving convictions stem all the way back to his first one in 1982.