Eau Claire man gets prison time for 15th OWI offenseA judge ordered the maximum 7 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for an Eau Claire man convicted of a felony count of 15th-offense drunken driving.
By: By Dan Holtz, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis., Superior Telegram
A judge ordered the maximum 7 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for an Eau Claire man convicted of a felony count of 15th-offense drunken driving.
"The maximum is appropriate in this case," Eau Claire County Judge Lisa Stark said at Mitchell D. Bundy's sentencing hearing.
Bundy "had 14 prior opportunities to figure out he can't get behind the wheel of a vehicle if he had one drop of alcohol," Stark said. "I understand the disease of addiction, but it cannot be used as an excuse in this case."
Stark ordered Bundy, 51, 609 Mount Nemo Ave., to spend five years on extended supervision following his release from prison.
As conditions of supervision, Bundy must undergo a psychological evaluation and random urine tests.
Bundy cannot drink alcohol, enter taverns or drive without the permission of his agent. His driver's license was revoked for three years.
"I don't in any way blame the system," Bundy told Stark. "I believed I was safe to drive."
Bundy's attorney, public defender Laurie Osberg of Eau Claire, said her client needs support and structure.
"He is recognizing what he did here was very wrong and he's glad no one was injured," Osberg said.
Eau Claire County assistant district attorney Ben Webster said Bundy's 15 drunken driving convictions spanned three states.
"This has been a career of operating while intoxicated," Webster said. "He will not stop drinking and driving."
According to the criminal complaint:
Bundy was arrested for drunken driving just after 11 p.m. Feb. 5, following a traffic stop on River Prairie Drive in Altoona.
While speaking with Bundy, an Altoona police officer smelled a strong odor of intoxicants and noticed Bundy's speech was slurred.
Bundy failed several field sobriety tests. His blood alcohol level was 0.236 percent, nearly three times the state's legal limit for driving.
Bundy has seven prior drunken driving convictions in Wisconsin, three in South Carolina and four in Oklahoma.
In Wisconsin, Bundy was convicted in December 1994 in Calumet County, in September 1995 in Lincoln County and in February 1995, September 1995, December 1995, March 2005 and May 2007 in Eau Claire County.
Bundy was convicted of drunken driving in South Carolina in June 1991, May 1993 and June 1993.
In Oklahoma, Bundy was convicted in October 1998, January 1999, November 1999 and November 2004.
Holtz can be reached at 715-833-9207, 800-236-7077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c)2012 the Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.)
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