BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Prarieville man was arrested Saturday night for the seventh time for driving while intoxicated, according to police.
Police say Jon Day, 45, was swerving through traffic on Old Jefferson Highway near Perkins Road in a white Chevrolet Corvette.
Police say as Day got out of his car, he lost his balance and smelled like alcohol. Day said he had a few drinks and agreed to take a Standardized Field Sobriety Test, which police say he performed poorly on.
Day refused chemical testing once he was taken into custody and refused to submit a sample of his breath.
Day has been arrested for six DWIs and three refusals to submit a breath test since 2010, although he had only been convicted on one DWI charge.
Louisiana State Police Public Information Officer Bryan Lee says it’s common for troopers to make several second and third offense DWI arrests in a single night.
“It’s something that we’re dealing with on a regular basis,” Lee said. “In the last two years, I know we’ve arrested several seventh and eighth-offense DWIs.”
Ascension area district attorney, Ricky Babin, says the state has a hard time prosecuting repeat DWI offenders because there is no central database for district attorneys to quickly obtain up-to-date, accurate information about prior arrests. Because the repeat DWI charges carry stronger penalties, DAs must prove each prior conviction was valid using paperwork and information from that incident.
If a person has been arrested in another parish or state, as in Day’s case, the district attorney usually has to obtain that information from each agency involved in prior incidents, one-by-one.
“It’s time consuming,” Babin said. “Somebody has got 13 arrests, you need to call 13 jurisdictions.”
Once district attorneys acquire the information they need, they still have to wait for the offender to be convicted of the crime. Repeat offense charges are based on convictions, not arrests.
Day had at least one trial pending for a prior DWI and a court date set for November of 2018.
Day’s current bond is set at $113,500. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for a felony charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.