MASSILLON, OH (WOIO) - Massillon police Sgt. Brian Muntean wrote a passionate plea in the form of an open letter to all OVI offenders.
Sgt. Muntean posted letter on Massillon Police Dept.'s Facebook page, three days after a man in their city got stopped for his 11th OVI.
Paul Whitt was arrested on October 7. Whitt, who has already served prison time for previous OVI's, was stopped for weaving in and out of traffic. Police say Whitt's blood alcohol content was nearly four times the legal limit. He is locked up the Stark County Jail and will be back in court on October 15.
Read the letter below:
Repeat OVI offenders. You've heard me discuss these before. They never stop. I've said it before and I'll say it again. There gets to a point where enough is enough and you have to prioritize public safety over giving people any more chances. When you're giving people "chances", you're also giving them chances to kill innocent people. I hear people say, 'suspend their license for life...put breathalyzers on their car...take their car....take their plates". I spent half of my career on midnights dealing with OVI drivers. Trust me that none of those things stop them from driving under the influence again. Ask any LEO who has spent a considerable amount of time working midnights. They'll tell you the same thing. The only thing that does is one of two things: 1) A prison cell 2) A casket. Case in point...
MPD units recently were sent to check on a possible OVI driver near the 2400 block of Lincoln Way East. The vehicle was gone when officers arrived. They later saw the vehicle near 6th and Lincoln Way West. Officer Dadisman & Sgt Maier stopped the vehicle near 6th and Tremont SW after seeing the vehicle weaving. Once he made contact with the driver, it was found he was under two suspensions. The driver was put through SFST's (Standard Field Sobriety Tests), showed numerous clues of impairment, and was placed under arrest for his.....are you ready for this?? ELEVENTH OVI OFFENSE.
He blew a .290 BAC. That's a Super OVI in the State of Ohio, and that's also approaching four times the legal limit. My understanding is that the suspect had previously been charged with felony OVI and served some prison time once convicted. "Job Well Done" to Sgt Maier and Officer Shaun Dadisman for getting him off the streets...again.
Wish I had some better news, but I am not one to sugar-coat things. Stuff like this bothers me. I've written letters to legislators. Law enforcement continues to arrest them. I am not sure what else can be done from our standpoint. As a society, I think we can do better. Laws need to be changed. Attitudes need to change about OVI, specifically repeat offenders. We all make mistakes, but at a certain point, enough is enough. My two pennies.
Sgt B Muntean