Twelve-time drunk driver given several chances to turn his life around
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is pushing to change the law to keep repeat offenses like his from happening.
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In fourteen years as a deputy, Sarpy County attorney Ben Perlman has prosecuted dozens of drunk drivers -- but none with the driving history of 48-year-old Michael Evezic, allegedly caught drinking and driving again.
“Our records show between this latest arrest and going back to 1997, the defendant has been convicted of drunk driving as many as 12 times,” Perlman said.
The most recent arrest was Dec. 2.
The arrest affidavit states on a Friday about Noon, police were called to a Bellevue gas station on the report of a possible drunk driver. A witness had seen a vehicle nearly strike a gas pump.
The officer states Michael had bloodshot eyes and could barely talk. A preliminary breath test registered .302 -- nearly four times the legal limit.
Perlman said he offended again within three to five days of getting off probation.
Evezic served less than two years in prison for felony drunk driving and released on probation with monitoring. November 29th, a judge signed an order approving early discharge from his probation. By our calculations, that’s about five months early.
“People need to be held accountable, and more importantly, the community needs to be kept safe,” said Andrea Frazier, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “This individual was probably high-risk and unfortunately allowed to get off probation early.”
Evezic’s probation officer submitted the application for early release. State probation won’t comment but points to the early discharge statute that says for low to moderate-risk-to-reoffend individuals who follow the rules, the probation officer shall submit an application for early discharge. In other words, the probation officer had no choice.
“We don’t understand why early release is an option, and is this something we can maybe work with a state senator to understand why the law is written like that,” Frazier said.
Since probation ended early, the various drunk driving prevention devices lifted, just four days before Evezic was arrested for DUI at a Bellevue gas station.
“Allegations that a gas pump is almost hit...the concern speaks for itself,” Perlman said.
Despite a dozen DUI convictions on the defendant’s record, the law allows only those in the last 15 years to count on any new charge. Evezic faces a third-offense DUI, but there are several other charges filed like driving with a revoked license and refusing an alcohol pretest.
Evezic remains in jail on $500,000 bond and declined our request for an interview.
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