Third DUI Nets Jail Time
Third offense driving under the influence (DUI) landed one Wetzel County man in the West Virginia Mens Penitentiary for no less than one and no more than three years.
Larry John Cox, 37, of 28 Rose St., Lot 24 N, New Martinsville, was sentenced by Judge David W. Hummel Jr. on July 16.
Cox was in Wetzel County Circuit Court asking for alternative sentencing. He stated he quit drinking the three months he has been in jail in lieu of bond and felt he could continue to not drink if let out. He told the judge he was willing to get help in the form of rehabilitation.
His ex-wife did take the stand on his behalf to tell the court that they have an 11-month-old child and also a 16-day-old newborn at home. She explained she needed him home to help out with the children and to help with the income to pay the bills.
Cox told Hummel he would love to see his newborn child and that he was incarcerated while she was born.
Hummel asked Cox how many times has he been caught for DUI. Cox answered, “Three.” Hummel continued by asking how many accidents he has been in so far while driving drunk, Cox answered none. Hummel then stated to Cox that he was driving around on Wetzel County roads intoxicated and he could have injured or taken a life in an accident.
“Did you make a call to someone that night before driving?” asked Hummel. Cox replied that he tried two times, but the phone line was busy.
Prosecutor Tim Haught brought forth in the courtroom that he did not believe an alternative sentence of home confinement would be best due to Cox’s past criminal record since 1990, including domestic battery, driving with a revoked license, and writing bad checks. “He cannot conform his conduct. He has had multiple lapses of judgement,” stated Haught.
Hummel told the courtroom that although Cox has certainly learned not to drink while in jail, the people of Wetzel County were put at risk when he was driving. He added, “There are your prior convictions.”
Hummel noted to Cox that the media was present and it was going to be in the newspaper for people to read. “They need to know how they (third offense DUI offenders) are going to be treated in Wetzel County.” He continued, “With the bad record you have established, you haven’t gotten that deterrent yet.”
Hummel told the courtroom and those present, “I do feel for your family, but you do the acts and it’s your track record. It appalls me that this is your third DUI.”
He then sentenced Cox to one to three years in the West Virginia Penitentiary and reminded Cox he was subject to the parole board and that this board will send him a letter to fill out when his parole time comes.