EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMULTIPLE DUI ARRESTS
from Eyewitness News Online
Man Speaks Out After More Than A Dozen DUI Arrests
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Jul. 17, 2012 5:02 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 17, 2012 10:46 PM EDT
Barboursville , Cabell County , West Virginia
John David Caldwell explains, "It was just my way of blowing off steam. Just have a couple beers, and then drive home. I never wanted to hurt anybody."
Even though he's been arrested 13 times for driving under the influence, Caldwell hasn't hurt anybody. He says,"I'm tired of putting people, other people in jeopardy. I'm very thankful that I've never hurt anyone physically. I don't even know if I could live with myself with that."
Caldwell sat down with Eyewitness News at the Western Regional Jail Tuesday afternoon. He's been in and out of jail and prison since the mid 80s for repeatly driving under the influence. He hasn't even had a driver's license since 1985, but it hasn't stopped him from driving drunk. His last arrest was in May, and he recently plead not guilty to those charges.
His first offense in the mid 1980s, he spent 24 hours in the county jail. The second offense, a year. He says for the third offense, one to three years. There were several more after that. In 2007, he tells us he was arrested twice for third offense DUI, once in Huntington and once in Parkersburg, but he was able to serve each of those one to three year sentences concurrently. He says he was released in September 2010. He says for awhile, he went back to work and was doing okay, but then he started drinking again. He explains, "I've got my own demons. I try to deal with them, but I haven't been able to." He continues, "I'm alone. I do everything by myself, and don't really fool with a lot of people."
So why does he continue to drink and drive?
He tells us, "Locking people away is not the answer."
So what would stop him? He answers, "I'd like to have some real, good help. I mean good help."
He says he wants real treatment to fight his so-called demons, possibly at a place like Prestera. We talked to DUI instructor at the DUI training facility at Prestera's Pinecrest facility to find out just what kind of services they have to help. Kathleen Saine says, "With our other addiction services we can meet all levels of care from first DUI arrest or multiple DUI arrests."
Caldwell told us he never felt like he wasn't okay to drive home after drinking. Saine gave us some statistics they use in their programs. Even a couple drinks for some people can send them over the legal limit. Even if you're not legally intoxicated, you can still be impaired. You start losing preferial vision, ability to stop in the appropriate amount of time, and it takes up to 32 seconds for your eyes to repair from headlight glare when you're under the influence. At any given time, one in ten drivers on the road is driving impaired. After midnight, that number can increase to three in ten drivers.
Saine says, "Our program is designed to facilitate change and open their eyes to the consequences of drinking and driving. We do meet needed levels of care and put people where they are at to help them see what consequences and help them make that decision. We have an intensive group therapy, and intervention group and we can refer them from there."
But people have to truly want to change their behavior.
Saine says, "We can always show them options why to change, but it does, ultimately, go to the person if they want to change or not."
We asked Caldwell if he really wanted to change. He replied, "I don't like what I do. I don't want to be this guy. I wasn't raised to be this. I was not raised to spend my life in jail."
He urges others to take a different path than he chose if you're fighting alcoholism.
"If you're suffering from it, get help before it's too late."
MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
2012 NEWS: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
Home | Eyewitness News Newsroom | Storm Team Weather | Eyewitness Sports | Schedules
Send email to email@example.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2013, WCHS-TV8. Portions are
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.