south dakota man facing 8th dui
The punishment for drinking and driving apparently hasn't had enough of an impact on a Pierre man who is now facing his 8th suspected driving under the influence charge. But a closer look at the 46-year-olds criminal record reveals a disturbing trend.
Randall Douglas Krebs has a seven-page criminal history attached to his name listing
15 alcohol-related charges. He's been picked up time and time again for getting back behind the wheel drunk and driving without a license. And for law enforcement trying to keep drunk drivers off the road, a case like Krebs is a source of frustration.
From the South Dakota Highway Patrol's perspective, getting drunk drivers off of the road--especially repeat offendersis about saving lives.
“Those are the ones who are likely to hurt someone some day,” said Sgt. Alan Welsh with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Sobriety checkpoints often uncover people making poor choices after an evening out.
“I know they believe they will never hurt someone, but the facts and history both show it does happen,” he said.
Welsh says repeat offenders, who receive citation after citation are the exception.
He says most people caught under the influence learn from it and harsher sentences are probably not the answer.
“A person who gets up to that many arrests, are they ever going to change?” he asked. “But is a DUI something you should put someone away for life for? I don't think the public would accept that.”
Welsh says when it comes right down to it, drinking drivers make a life or death decision when they get behind the wheel.
“I do see the result of it, I see crashes and people injured and that's a huge priority for us is to get drunk drivers and repeat drunk drivers off of the road,” Welsh said.
Of Krebs 15 alcohol-related charges, 6 were either reduced or dismissed in court. The States Attorneys Office says while criminal history plays a large role in sentencing, each case is considered on an individual basis and its up to judges across the state to determine a punishment thats appropriate.
But Krebs isn't the worst case of repeated drinking and driving South Dakota has seen. Sixty-five year old Jerry Zeller was dubbed "Mr. D-U-I" in 2005 after being arrested for being drunk behind the wheel seventeen times. He's currently behind bars.