A Salem man who is a Habitual Traffic Violator and therefore did not possess a driver’s license, registered a BAC nearly twice the legal limit when an officer stopped his vehicle last year.
Kenny Lee Trueblood, 39, East Quaker Road, Salem, was charged in Washington County Superior Court with Level 6 felony charges of operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator and operating a vehicle with an ACE of .08 or more.
He was convicted on those charges and sentenced on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
He was also convicted and sentenced on Class A misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person and operating a vehicle with an ACE of .08 or more.
“We will aggressively prosecute cases where we have habitual traffic violators. The only way we can hope to ensure the safety of our roads is to take these cases seriously and pursue maximum sentences,” said Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin.
On the night of Oct. 3, 2020, a Salem City Police officer was behind a 2001 Dodge Ram that was weaving, crossing the centerline, and traveling far below the speed limit.
When the officer attempted to stop the truck, the driver hit the curb and stopped at an intersection.
Trueblood admitted to having been at a bar and said he had probably drunk too much. When the officer checked Trueblood’s license, he found it was an identification card with an HTV status.
Trueblood failed field sobriety tests. A field sobriety test measured a BAC of 0.16%.
A chemical test performed later indicated a BAC of .146.
Trueblood has a previous conviction for operating while intoxicated with a prior dating to 2014.
Following the convictions, Judge Larry Medlock sentenced Trueblood to a total sentence of 5 years at the Indiana Department of Correction for OWI endangering, a class A misdemeanor, Habitual Traffic Violator, a level 6 felony, and a two-year enhancement for the Habitual Vehicular Substance Offender.