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Ashland man sentenced for driving drunk 5 times

An Ashland man convicted of driving drunk a fifth time will spend a year in jail.

Christopher John Houle, 43, pleaded guilty Monday in Douglas County Circuit Court to fifth offense operating while intoxicated. He was sentenced to two years of probation in addition to jail; Huber work release was granted. Houle may serve his jail time in Ashland County.

The Ashland man's driver's license was revoked for 36 months and he was ordered to install an ignition interlock, take an alcohol assessment, maintain absolute sobriety and submit to random urinalysis. He must also pay a $600 fine and court costs. An 18-month prison sentence, followed by 18 months of extended supervision, was imposed but stayed.

One count of fifth offense operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration was dismissed.

According to the criminal complaint:

Following a report of an intoxicated driver, Superior police officers initiated a traffic stop on the truck Houle was driving Jan. 25, 2016, along North Fifth Street.

Officer Jeffrey Dwyer could detect a strong odor of intoxicants coming from inside the vehicle and Investigator Paul Winterscheidt located an open, half-full bottle of beer in one of the vehicle's front cup holders.

A blood draw on Houle registered a blood alcohol level of 0.210, more than twice the legal limit.

Houle has four previous convictions for operating while intoxicated in Ashland and Iron counties, the most recent in 2010.