MACHIAS (AP) – A 50-year-old Lovell man was sentenced to 54 months in prison after being convicted of drunken driving for the eighth time.

Wesley Hewey, who had 15 previous criminal convictions to his record, pleaded guilty Friday in Washington County Superior Court.

Justice Allen Hunter sentenced him to 54 months with the Department of Corrections and suspended his license for six years.

“We cannot afford your ninth OUI,” Hunter told Hewey. “My obligation is to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

“You are not a candidate for probation. My consideration for this lengthy sentence is for the public’s protection.”

Hewey was arrested in August 2002 on Route 9 in Washington County. By providing the name of his uncle at the time of his arrest, Hewey eluded authorities for several months after he was indicted in April 2003 and a warrant was issued for his uncle.

Hewey has been in the Machias jail since his arrest in September.

At Friday’s hearing, Hewey pleaded guilty to aggravated forgery and was given an additional 18 months in prison on top of the 54 months.

“You tried to undermine the authority of the government,” Hunter told him. “And while you are accepting responsibility and entering a plea, this is a separate and distinct criminal activity.”

Hewey also received a sentence of 24 months, to run concurrently with the 54 months, for being a habitual offender, the fifth time he has been convicted of that charge.

Hewey’s attorney, Norman Tofflon, argued for probation, saying his client could get better treatment for his problems outside of prison.

But Paul Cavanaugh, the assistant district attorney handling the case, said, “He continues to drink and drive. He has not been getting the message about probation.”

AP-ES-05-08-04 1236EDT

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