Thursday, January 9, 2003

Man convicted of 9th DUI


Officer, prosecutor say 60-day sentence not enough

By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A 58-year-old Bond Hill man, convicted Wednesday of his ninth drunken driving conviction since 1985, will be out of jail in 60 days.

Hamilton County Municipal Judge Cheryl D. Grant sentenced Eurice Hargrove to 180 days - 60 in jail, the rest to be completed in an extended-care treatment program. She also suspended his license for five years.

The ruling outraged the officer who arrested Mr. Hargrove and defied an assistant city prosecutor's request that he serve the maximum sentence of a year and a half in jail and have his license suspended for10 years.

"Treatment is not working for him," said Cincinnati Police Office Joe Stevens, who arrested Mr. Hargrove after he almost caused an accident on Interstate 75 in November. "A first-time DUI, sure. But he has a problem and needs to go to jail."

Assistant Cincinnati Prosecutor Stacy Wall said the sentence was too lenient, especially considering Mr. Hargrove had been driving on a suspended license and was on probation after a 2000 drunken driving conviction.

Because it was Mr. Hargrove's third DUI conviction in the past six years, the charge was considered a misdemeanor.

Judge Grant said she gave Mr. Hargrove an equal balance of punishment and help.

"I did punish him and did order treatment," Judge Grant said. "I am always concerned about multiple DUIs at the Municipal Court level. I always want to give them an opportunity for treatment in addition to punishment because I know they do not often stay out of cars."

None of Mr. Hargrove's drunken driving arrests has been considered a felony, according to court records.

E-mail sturco@enquirer.com




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