70-year-old Geauga County man pleads not guilty to his 8th OVI

70-year-old Geauga County man pleads not guilty to his 8th OVI

CHARDON, Ohio (WOIO) - A 70-year-old Chardon man pleaded not guilty Friday in Geauga County Common Pleas Court to his 8th OVI.

Gerald Zimmerman was pulled over by Geauga County Sheriff deputies on Sept. 15.

Deputies stopped Gerald Zimmerman on Wilson Mills Road in Chardon.

Zimmerman is currently out on A $20,000 bond and has been ordered not to leave Ohio.

Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz said Zimmerman’s last DUI was in 2011.

Flaiz said Zimmerman received the maximum sentence allowed by law, which was three years and four months.

He served his entire sentence and was released from prison on Dec. 19, 2014.

Flaiz said Zimmerman now faces up to eight years behind bars and they are working on taking away his vehicle.

In Ohio, there’s a database that allows you to search for repeat DUI offenders.

According to the database, Zimmernan has had five DUI convictions since 2001.

Ohio law states DUI offenses don’t become felony crimes until the fourth conviction. Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving are pushing for Ohio to strengthen it’s DUI laws.

On a scale of one to five stars, MADD gave Ohio only 2.5 stars. They’re also pushing for it to be a felony to drive drunk with kids in the car.

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