Man due in court this month after his fifth DWI arrest
PORT ALLEN- A man who was popped for his fifth DWI last year appeared in a Port Allen courtroom and began taking responsibility for some of his actions Wednesday.
Jonathan Nash entered a guilty plea to second offense DWI. He was driving while intoxicated last July when he was arrested for a fourth offense DWI. Five months later he was picked up again for a fifth offense DWI. But, when he went to court he was charged with only one. The West Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office continued the January court hearing to May until they could track down Nash's other convictions, at least one of which was out of state.
When the WBRZ Investigative Unit searched Nash's criminal history, we found he had three DWI arrests in Illinois. Only one of those resulted in a conviction. That conviction was used Wednesday to enhance his charges from a first offense to a second offense DWI. His fifth DWI arrest will now turn into a third when he appears back in court on May 29.
"It's very important to keep him off the roads," WBRSO Major Zack Simmers said. "If he can't mind the laws like everyone else he doesn't need to be driving. How many innocent lives are lost because someone had one, two, three too many drinks. It's ridiculous, and we're going to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."
The judge presiding over the case did not release Nash from jail. Instead, Nash will remain locked up until he goes to court for an arraignment on his most recent arrest.
A bill sailing through the legislature could change future DWI convictions. If House Bill 580 became law, it would mandate anyone convicted of a first offense DWI be required to have a breathalyzer in their vehicle. It's a move in the right direction according to Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
"It's going to fix the loophole in the current law regarding ignition interlock," Valerie Cox with MADD said. "It would require all offenders to have it in their vehicles."
HB 580 is set to be debated on the house floor May 16.