Friday, October 10, 2003

Serial DUI driver kept in prison



By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - A Warren County judge has refused the request of a notorious drunken driver to be released from prison early.

Common Pleas Judge James L. Flannery on Friday denied the request of Curtis Sears, 45, of Dayton, Ohio.

Acting as his own attorney, Sears last month asked to be freed from a privately run Ohio prison for drunken-driving offenders. He had begun serving a four-year term there in 2002, following his 25th DUI charge. None of the charges involved crashes.

The most recent violation occurred Sept. 20, 2001, when a Warren County sheriff's deputy stopped him for weaving in Union Township.

In his motion for early release, Sears argued that he had completed substance abuse counseling and education programs, that he would be able to function as a law-abiding citizen, and that he wanted another chance "to straighten out his life."

But in his decision, Flannery noted Sears' extensive DUI record, along with escape, vandalism and several driving-under-suspension offenses.

The judge said Ohio law strives to protect society and punish the offender. "It is crystal clear that the only way to do so here is to incapacitate the defendant by continued incarceration," Flannery said.

E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
Grand jury eyes church leaders
Don't have a cow: Beef costs up
Bush taps DeWitt for inner circle
The Bill DeWitt File
Advisory board members
Tuition program: money is secure
I-75 plan with rail passes
Students' college dreams in jeopardy

IN THE TRISTATE
Blue Ash enacts bike helmet law
Charges dismissed against ex-priest
Campaigners for council take it to high school
Ohioans in D.C. blast plan for Fernald water
Debate turns to crime, race
Anderson to meet more of own needs
Thank-you to teacher comes with $25,000
Man who killed young mother gets 23 years
Victim protection studied
Regional Report
On Campus

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Newcomer's latest idea for fun: Black Movie Lounge
Grandma also served country

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Clermont explores world cultures
For Leno, he'll go heels over head
Serial DUI driver kept in prison

OBITUARIES
M. A. Croucher, former Eden Grove principal
Pat Matthews, 77, was active volunteer
Kentucky obituaries

OHIO
Blackwell group redoes tax repeal petitions
Overhaul of Ohio grad schools advised
Rain, prevention knock down West Nile virus
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Lyon Co. gives nod to mask ban
Abuse victims plead for quick OK of payment plan
Officer not hit as gun fired once
Murgatroyd penalized $1,300
NKU frowns on 2 frat bashes
Newport captain suspended pending internal investigation
Kenton has best race in town

TRAFFIC SURVEY
Tell us about local bottlenecks