Wednesday, December 5, 2001
A repeat DUII offender was given prison time in Hood River Circuit Court last week. Jose Ruben Rodriguez Maciel, 27, of The Dalles, was sentenced on Nov. 28 to 14 months behind bars for his fourth DUII conviction and for giving false information to police.
"People who habitually drink and drive are a menace to society, the only thing that separates an intoxicated driver from a manslaughter charge is luck," said Hood River District Attorney John Sewell. Maciel was also given 90 extra days of prison time for violating his probation conditions in two previous Hood River cases, one in August of 1996 and the other in October of 2000. He also has a prior Nov. 8, 1998 conviction in California and is wanted for failure to appear in two pending cases. Sewell said because Maciel had been convicted of three misdemeanor DUII offenses in the past 10 years, under Oregon law, the fourth arrest escalated into a felony crime which carried prison time.
On Sept. 24 Maciel was arrested for his latest DUII in Hood River when his driving reportedly almost forced an off-duty officer out of his lane on Dethman Ridge Road. Although he denied the charges at his bench trial, Maciel was found guilty because he had registered .14 on the intoxilyzer at NORCOR, almost double the legal limit. According to police reports, a bucket full of mostly empty beer bottles had also been found during a search of his vehicle at the time of his arrest.