Prosecutor Wants Mandatory Added Time For Repeat DUI

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A man's lengthy drunken-driving record could lead to stiffer jail sentences for repeat offenders.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said Monday proposed state legislation would add a mandatory sentence of one to five years for anyone convicted of five or more driving under the influence offenses.

Similar to the state's gun-specification law, which adds three years of jail time for the use of a firearm while committing a violent crime, a repeat DUI offender would have to serve the additional time before any sentence on the basic offense.

Walsh made the announcement after a grand jury indicted Todd Manley on his latest charge, which could lead to his 19th DUI conviction since 1984.

"The Todd Manley case is what clearly brought this problem to light," Walsh said. "We don't often see an individual who has 18 prior convictions, and when I did, my first reaction was: 'Why is he still on the streets?'"

Walsh, a Democrat, said her sentencing proposal was backed by state Sen. Leigh Herington, D-Ravenna, and was sent for review to the nonpartisan Legislative Service Commission in Columbus last week.

Manley, 37, is in Summit County Jail in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond after a June 21 incident in which he allegedly injured a 14-year-old girl in her family's driveway in Stow.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)