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Swannanoa Man Gets 17th DWI Conviction

A Swannanoa man is locked up After pleading guilty to his 17th DWI. 55-year-old Ronnie Dodd could serve a maximum of 9 years in prison. He's just one of many habitual offenders in Buncombe County the District Attorney's Office is going after.

Court documents show Ronnie Dodd was first convicted of driving while intoxicated in 1983. Since then he has been convicted 16 more times.  Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore says it's his office's goal to go after repeat offenders like Dodd. Under state law, anyone convicted of three DWI's in 10 years can be charged with habitual impaired driving. This week, Dodd pleaded guilty and will now spend 87 to 117 months in jail.

Last year, almost 1,500 people in Buncombe County were convicted with DWI. 28 people were sentenced for being habitual impaired drivers. The district attorney feels harsher punishments for first time offenders may help reduce the number of impaired drivers.

News 13's Megan Schiering spoke with Dodd's family by phone tonight. They say he's always struggled with alcohol and does deserve this jail time. They go on to say when he was sober, he's was a great guy.


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