LOGAN — A 59-year-old Logan man is headed for prison after admitting to driving drunk for the fifth time in three years. Winton Luke was given the maximum sentence Tuesday, after a judge said the defendant was lucky that he hasn’t killed someone yet with his vehicle.
Luke was sentenced during a virtual hearing 1st District Court, appearing by web conference from jail. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of driving under the influence, a third-degree felony.
December 30, Luke was pulled over by Logan City police after he showed signs of impairment. Toxicology tests later confirmed his blood alcohol level was above the legal state limit. He was booked into the Cache County Jail, where he has been held without bail.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, public defender Mike McGinnis said Luke has a serious drinking problem. He asked the court to sentence the defendant to jail instead, and require treatment for his alcohol addiction.
Luke spoke through a Marshallese interpreter, promising not to drink and drive again. He said, he didn’t want to go to prison and would try really hard to sober up.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Clark Harms told the court, Luke had been arrested five times for driving under the influence during the past three years, the last arrest occurring while he was already on probation for two prior felony convictions. He said the defendant had been given every opportunity to change, and prison was the only way to protect the public.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck agreed with Harms, expressing concern for Luke’s substance abuse problems. She said it appeared the defendant was either unwilling or unable to address his problems, putting himself and the public in danger.
Luke was sentenced to serve three concurrent terms of zero-to-five years in prison. The exact length of time will be determined by the Utah State Board of Pardons and Parole.