RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A man convicted 12 times of drinking and driving, is finally locked up in Spotsylvania. David Apraham, 44, evaded police for more than two decades, racking up a string of DUI charges. He'll spend the next seven years behind bars.
Apraham was pulled over for being drunk behind the wheel in at least five states. Spotsylvania Commonwealth Deputy Attorney Tom Shaia says he also got away with some lenient sentencing over the years, until this week.
Shaia says since 1990, David Apraham faced six DUI charges in Alabama, three in Mississippi, one each in North Carolina and Washington State, and three across Virginia. Apraham was nabbed in Colonial Heights, Williamsburg, and last year, in Spotsylvania.
"It can be quite a challenge," said Steve Benjamin, legal analyst for NBC12, referring to authorities stopping a determined alcoholic, on the run. "Some people would rather move from state, to state, to state, hoping to avoid the maximum sanction...hoping to be able to continue drinking and driving."
Shaia confirms Apraham never finished jail time in Alabama, escaped house arrest in Mississippi, and skipped out of a slew of other towns he's wanted in.
"This is an interesting illustration of a problem lawmakers face… That's the problem of the hardcore alcoholic, who is not going to stop drinking," explained Benjamin.
The Spotsylvania judge gave Apraham the maximum sentence, including other charges he faced. However, attorneys say the law hasn't always been as strict pertaining to DUI charges. Shaia says Apraham was often fined for his offenses. Benjamin adds that DUI charges weren't considered as serious years ago.
"The law in Virginia, and I think the law in virtually every other state in the country, has become significantly stricter," said Benjamin.
Three DUI charges in Virginia equal a felony. In the Commonwealth, those drinking and driving convictions can be from any state.