Judge to Troy man sentenced on 9th OVI: ‘You are putting everybody else at risk’

A Troy man convicted for the ninth time of operating a vehicle while intoxicated was sentenced to a year in prison by a Miami County judge who told him “every time you get in that car, you are putting everybody else at risk.”

Thomas A. Perkins Jr., 56, pleaded guilty in January to operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle while intoxicated/refusal of testing, both fourth-degree felonies. The charges stemmed from a March 2018 traffic stop by troopers from the Piqua post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Common Pleas Judge Stacy Wall on Tuesday said Perkins had been sent to jail or prison at least eight times over the years, most of the time after he violated probation approved following a conviction for OVI or another criminal offense. Wall reviewed the convictions starting with an OVI in 1995.

Defense lawyer Anthony Sullivan said many of Perkins’ probation violations were 18 to 20 years ago, adding, “probably a lot has changed” for him since. Perkins said he suffers from a number of health issues, doesn’t hang out anymore with those he “used to run with” and hadn’t drunk alcohol since his March 2018 arrest.

Perkins said he drove the night of the last OVI because a friend asked for a ride. “I thought I could give someone a ride, and it has cost me,” he said. He also was charged with driving while under suspension, with that charge later dismissed.

He asked Wall to consider putting him on probation. He’d be “more than happy to be put on probation,” Perkins said.

Janna Parker, an assistant county prosecutor, said prison time was appropriate for Perkins given the circumstances of the case and his record.

Wall said Perkins was driving someone else’s car, was violent with hospital personnel and refused to give blood following the stop, forcing troopers to obtain a warrant. His blood-alcohol was recorded at 0.217, she said.

Ohio’s legal driving limit is 0.08.

“You have been given more chances than most people on probation,” Wall said, adding Perkins “clearly” did not meet the conditions for probation.

He was sentenced to one year in prison with 120 days mandatory time. He was given credit for 145 days served in jail following the arrest. Perkins also was ordered to pay a $1,350 mandatory fine, ordered to pay court costs and received a lifetime license suspension.

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