Many unanswered questions about man arrested for 7th DWI offense

James Haynes Jr. (Source: East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office)
James Haynes Jr. (Source: East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office)

CLINTON, LA (WAFB) - A man was arrested on his seventh DWI after being pulled over by police Monday night.

James Haynes Jr., 30, of Clinton, was booked into the East Feliciana Parish Jail on charges of DWI (7th offense), unlawful refusal to submit to chemical tests and operating a vehicle while under suspension for certain prior offenses.

Louisiana State Police reported Haynes was pulled over by officers with the Clinton Police Department for speeding on LA 67 north of LA 10 around 10 p.m. The officers then contacted Troop A.

Tpr. Jared Sandifer said the responding trooper suspected Haynes was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him. Sandifer added this was the third time the same trooper has arrested Haynes.

According to reports, the trooper first arrested Haynes on June 8, 2011 after a traffic stop on LA 67 north of LA 10. He was charged with DWI (5th offense) and operating a vehicle without a license.

The trooper's second encounter with Haynes was March 8, 2014. Haynes was booked on the following charges:

DWI (6th offense)

Operating a vehicle while under suspension for certain prior offenses


Careless operation

LSP posted the arrest on their facebook page, several comments have been posted asking why the man was not already in jail.

Carl Babin, a local criminal defense attorney not associated with the case, says it depends on whether the person was ever convicted on those previous charges.

"To prosecute them as a multiple offender – second, third, fourth – there have to be convictions that occur within the last 10 years. So just because someone's arrested for seventh offense doesn't mean he's going to be prosecuted for his seventh offense," Babin said.

Sam D'Aquilla, the District Attorney in East Feliciana Parish, said his office is looking into Haynes' arrest record. D'Aquilla said there are several parishes where Haynes' was arrested on DWI charges. They include four DWI arrests in East Feliciana, one in Tangipahoa, and one in East Baton Rouge. D'Aquilla says they have found the 30-year-old man was convicted on at least one of those charges.

Babin says in his experience some people just can't be helped.

"Some people just do not get the message," Babin said. "I see a lot of people that make mistakes with a first arrest and it never happens again … Some people are just incurable."

Troopers said impaired driving is a major problem throughout the state and they will continue to enforce DWI laws. They added they remain committed to a public education campaign to end impaired driving in Louisiana.

Haynes is being held on a $300,000 bond.

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