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Man convicted of 12th drunk driving charge


UPI News Service, 03/11/2011 

A Wisconsin man was convicted of his 12th drunk driving offense only six years after he was sentenced to eight years in prison for his 10th and 11th offenses.

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James Socha, 47, who defended himself at Thursday's jury trial, was convicted of his 12th operating while intoxicated offense after a Glendale police officer spotted him trying to free his 1995 Saab from a snowbank Dec. 21, 2008, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Friday.

Prosecutors said Socha, who was sentenced to eight years in jail in 2005 but was out in less than three, failed a field sobriety test and his blood alcohol level was measured at 0.322, more than four times the legal limit for driving.

Socha told the jury he was "not the operator" of the vehicle but officer Amanda Asselin testified he was in the driver's seat when she approached the car and the brake and backup lights were going on and off, indicating he was attempting to move the vehicle.

"Unless Casper the Ghost was in there, the defendant is responsible for putting the car in reverse," Asselin said.

The jury handed down the conviction after about 15 minutes of deliberation.


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