An off-duty law enforcement officer allegedly noticed a 64-year-old man behaving in a way that was consistent with intoxication in an establishment in Joplin, Missouri last Friday. Specifically, the officer reported the man staggering, stumbling and slurring his words, with an odor of intoxicants lingering around his person. The off-duty officer alerted a colleague to detain the man if he attempted to operate a vehicle upon leaving the establishment. The other officer complied with the wishes of his colleague and pulled the man over upon observing him driving east out of the parking lot, arresting him after a positive breathalyzer test.
The driver has a history of previous arrests and convictions on alcohol-related charges, according to court documents. The most recent arrest was in June 2018 on charges of speeding and intoxication. After he made bond, the court placed him on house arrest. A judge has yet to sign a court order modifying his house arrest for purposes of going to work and attending church despite a court hearing taking place to request it.
Another previous conviction happened in 2004 when the driver pleaded guilty to involuntary vehicular manslaughter in connection with the deaths of a 7-year-old girl and her grandfather as they walked to a mailbox on Highway 86. The incident prompted the passage of a law designed to increase penalties for drunk driving that results in manslaughter. The state now considers the driver a persistent DWI offender according to the definitions that the new law modified, and he, therefore, faces felony charges.
The court scheduled a hearing for the most recent offense for May 7th and ordered no bond. Individuals facing drunk driving charges may find it useful to contact an attorney.