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Habitual drunken driver to serve 50 years in prison

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HOUSTON — A man has been given a lengthy prison sentence after getting caught — yet again — drinking and then jumping behind the wheel.

Ronnie Paul Hobgood Jr., 45, pled guilty Monday to driving while intoxicated, a third degree felony. It was his sixth time being charged with the crime. As part of a plea bargain agreement, Hobgood was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

According to documents, Hobgood was leaving a bar on Feb. 7 when a bartender noticed that he was highly intoxicated.

The bartender approached Hobgood and attempted to prevent him from driving, but according to witnesses, Hobgood started his truck, put it in reverse and crashed into a parked car. He then attempted to flee the scene while the bartender called the police.

Concerned citizens tried to block Hobgood in the parking lot, but he drove over a curb and onto the feeder road of I-45 North where he collided with another vehicle before speeding off.

A local wrecker driver located Hobgood and called the police.

A state trooper caught up to Hobgood, stopped him and conducted a field sobriety test, which Hobgood failed. According to authorities, Hobgood was very unsteady on his feet and smelled strongly of alcohol.

A search warrant was executed for a sample of Hobgood’s blood, which revealed a blood alcohol concentration of .272, which is over three times the legal limit.

Hobgood has a long history of DWI-related offenses dating back to 1990. He also has two prior prison trips for DWI type offenses. Because Hobgood has been sentenced to prison two times, the law lists him as a habitual offender, making his minimum punishment 25 years in prison.

“This defendant is clearly a danger to the public and this sentence will ensure that he never has the opportunity to hurt anybody else again,” said prosecutor Brittany Litaker. “We would like to commend the other officers who investigated his previous cases for their willingness to testify in this case and for their continued dedication to ensuring the safety of the people who live in and travel through this community. This result once again demonstrates that such conduct will not be tolerated in Montgomery County.”