Convicted drunk driver caught driving

Tony Poole

August 4, 2010 8:25:46 PM PDT
A convicted drunk driver who led authorities on a chase Tuesday night is back in jail.Authorities caught up with Tony Poole in downtown Durham after a trooper clocked him speeding 68 mph in 35 mph zone.

According to Poole's extensive rap sheet, he wasn't supposed to be driving.

He has had multiple DWI's in recent years and his license was revoked after a level four DWI in 2008.

Before that, Poole had a DWI charge in 1993 and another driving under the influence charge dating back to 1982.

Poole is also no stranger to running from the law. Four years ago, he was charged with eluding police.

From assault to larceny to driving with a revoked license, Poole has mostly received suspended sentences and time on probation. His longest stay in jail was five months.

But his latest arrest, advocates say, might be a textbook example of drivers passing through a revolving door in the criminal justice system.

"There are so many cases, our numbers are extremely high now with DWI arrests," said Ollie Jeffers with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "We see the repeat offenders. We see them come in and out and we can see the smirk on their faces, because they think they've got the system beat."

Advocates say the system still works even though after Tuesday night's chase, Poole's bond was initially set at $7,500. However, it was later raised to $16,000 at the request of prosecutors who called him "a danger to the public" in court on Wednesday.

"The laws are in place, we have the laws, they're in place," Jeffers said. "People are going to have to take the responsibility and do it for themselves just like all of us that are traveling on the same highways they're traveling on."

Poole remains in jail and will make his next court appearance later this month. In addition to jail time, the judge has ordered him to enter an alcohol treatment program.

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