A man in Seattle with eleven DUI convictions has been sentenced to three years in prison Thursday.
In a Seattle Municipal Courtroom Thursday, prosecutors said jail time was the only way to keep Dwight David Benson from killing someone when he's drunk behind the wheel. Benson has been convicted of drunken driving eleven times, and has at least four more driving convictions amended from DUI. On Thursday Benson was sentenced in to different DUI cases.
Defense attorneys, arguing in front of Judge Edsonya Charles, said Benson served three decades in the Navy, and did three tours of Vietnam. In 2001, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a problem which, defense attorneys say, went untreated for years. Benson's attorney, Ted Barr, said that jail time was not the answer to Benson's problems. Barr said his client needs to continue mental health and chemical dependency treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“He isn't victimizing our community,” Barr said. “He drives without a license and has a problem drinking.”
Defensive arguments did little to sway Judge Charles, who said that Benson should not receive special treatment because of his military service.
“The fact that you haven't hurt someone else or yourself is miraculous,” Charles said. “You've never taken responsibility for your actions.”
Benson was sentenced to a year in prison for DUI and another year for driving with a suspended license. Those charges stem from a case filed in 2007.
In a separate case also heard Thursday, Judge Ron Mamiya sentenced Benson to a year in jail for a 2009 DUI arrest. The judge suspended jail time on charges of hit and run and driving with a suspended license.
If you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge in the state of Washington, please contact a Seattle DUI lawyer of The Cowan, Kirk & Gaston Law Firm by calling 866-822-1230.