CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Paul Whitt withdrew his previous not guilty plea and entered a plea of guilty in Stark County Court Monday.
He is a bit of a celebrity in drunk driving circles, and it's no badge of honor.
With his 10 arrests he's in the upper echelons of the more than one million Ohio drivers who've been caught over the limit.
In Whitt's case he was over the line, weaving badly on Lincoln Way in Massillon in October when another driver called police.
Whitt was gone when officers went looking for him, but they didn't give up. They spotted him on Sixth and Lincoln Way West and pulled him over quite quickly a block or so later.
He said nothing when asked by Judge Frank Forchione if he wanted to speak.
While he didn't have anything to say, you may remember that when Massillon Police Officer Brian Muntean heard of the case he had plenty to say on line.
His words were direct, saying, "We all make mistakes, but at a certain point, enough is enough". He believes two things can stop a drunk driver. A casket or a prison cell.
After Whitt pleaded guilty Forchione handed Whitt a total of seven years saying, "Mr. Whitt this is the harshest sentence I've given in a DUI case because these facts require it."
The Judge gave Whitt some advice before he went away, "In the future think, don't drink."
He'll have plenty of time to do that in prison.
A final fact, an observation by the Judge of just how drunk Whitt was in October. "On that particular night you had a level of .290," asked Judge Forchione.
"Yes," answered Whitt.
"Do you know that you're practically unconscious? Do you think you have a drinking problem?" asked Judge Forchione.
Whitt answered "Yes."
And for seven years his problem won't be anyone else's.
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