(AP) — A Swannanoa man has been sentenced to at least seven years in prison after he was convicted of driving while impaired for the 17th time.
Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore told the Asheville Citizen-Times that 55-year-old Ronnie Dodd's blood-alcohol level was 0.24 — three times the legal limit for driving — when he was pulled over on Old U.S. 70 in January.
Moore says Dodd's first DWI conviction came in 1983. He has been sent away as a habitual DWI offender three times in his life. That charge requires four drunken-driving offenses within 10 years.
Moore says the case shows North Carolina needs tougher sentences for DWI convictions to act as a deterrent, especially with first convictions.