A Bellevue man was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison Monday in Sarpy County District Court after pleading guilty to his 10th drunken driving offense.
Reginald Dawson, 52, was arrested Jan. 20 after someone called Bellevue police officer to the Cloverleaf Bar, 601 Fort Crook Road North, because an intoxicated man was about to drive away. The officer located Dawson in a car stopped in the middle of an access road off Fort Crook Road.
Tougher DUI laws that went into effect in January may have played a role in the sentence handed down Monday by Judge William Zastera. Until Jan. 1, Nebraska courts could consider previous offenses from the past 12 years in prosecuting repeat DUI offenders. But the new state law opens up a person's drunken driving record during the past 15 years.
In Dawson's case, four more DUIs were added by looking back three more years. Most of his offenses were committed in Nebraska, but he also had offenses in Missouri and Hawaii.
Prosecutors dismissed charges of driving while under suspension and two counts of refusing to submit to breath tests in exchange for Dawson pleading guilty to DUI. Under sentencing guidelines, he will be eligible for parole after serving five years and must be released after serving 10.
Dawson was credited with 297 days in jail.
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