HOULTON, Maine — A 56-year-old Weston man who was convicted of his 12th operating under the influence charge and his ninth operating after revocation charge during a jury trial last month has been ordered to serve nearly six years in prison for the crimes.
Milo C. White was sentenced Wednesday to one day less than six years in prison by Justice E. Allen Hunter in Aroostook County Superior Court. White immediately was handcuffed and taken to begin serving his sentence after Hunter rejected a plea to delay his incarceration for three weeks.
Aroostook County Assistant District Attorney Kurt Kafferlin said the latest charges against White stemmed from a July 24, 2010, ATV accident in Weston.
According to Kafferlin, a witness saw the ATV roll over while it was traveling down a public roadway in front of his house. The witness ran over and found White, whom he recognized as a nearby resident. White suffered serious injuries and was taken to Houlton Regional Hospital and then to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Warden Ben Drew investigated the crash and spoke to White at Houlton Regional Hospital. Kafferlin said that White admitted to Drew that he had consumed approximately 12 beers before the accident. Three hours after the crash, he had a blood alcohol content of .18, more than double the legal limit of .08.
During his jury trial, White testified on his own behalf and was represented by Houlton attorney Mike Carpenter. White said on the witness stand that the ATV was for sale by his landlord and that he did not drive it on the day of the crash. He said that an unknown person came to see the ATV and asked to take it for a test drive, so White got on the back. White told the jury that the person then leapt from the moving ATV and ran into the woods, causing the ATV with him on it to crash.
The jury didn’t believe his claims and found him guilty on both counts.
Kafferlin pressed for the maximum sentence of five years on the OUI charge and 364 days on the operating after revocation charge. He told Hunter that White’s record stems back to 1973 and includes charges of operating without a license, four convictions for operating after suspension, assault, criminal threatening, breaking and entering and larceny. He has served more than 13 years in prison on those charges.
“He will not stop drinking and driving,” said Kafferlin. “He hasn’t had a valid driver’s license in 27 years but he continues to drink and drive. He needs to be confined. He can’t control his drinking and he can’t stay off motor vehicles.”
Carpenter acknowledged that White has a drinking problem but told Hunter that he felt that White still could be helped. He felt that part of the nearly six-year sentence Kafferlin was suggesting should be suspended.
“He is 56 years old and he has obviously abused himself very badly,” said Carpenter. “Six years is a big chunk of time out of his life.”
Hunter gave White an opportunity to speak, but White declined.
The justice noted that White was drunk and driving the ATV on a public way during daylight and called his prior criminal record “overwhelming.”
He noted that White was flown to EMMC for treatment.
“Something tells me that the medical bill was an expense not paid out of his own pocket, so the public had to absorb the costs of his treatment,” said Hunter. “He presents as a tragic figure who is consumed by his alcoholism. But I see a complete absence of any responsibility. He has character issues that don’t bode well for his success on probation.”
He agreed to Kafferlin’s recommendation and did not suspend any of the sentence. White also was fined $1,700.
Carpenter said that White wanted his sentenced stayed until Dec.4.
“I don’t dare,” Hunter responded quickly.
White indicated that he will appeal the sentence.