Archived Story

Man sentenced for 7th OWI

Published 6:08pm Friday, February 17, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — The numbers aren’t good for Dale Irving.

Eleven felony convictions, 14 misdemeanors, 11 probation sentences, 10 trips to prison and seven to jail.

The 60-year-old Cassopolis resident was sentenced to three years of probation and a year in jail Friday on his seventh career operating while intoxicated conviction.

Judge Michael Dodge said he “reluctantly” accepted a favorable plea bargain despite Irving’s “unbelievable” past criminal record.

The incident occurred in November of last year when Irving was driving while intoxicated in Elkhart.

A police officer attempted to stop him, but Irving led him on a chase across the state line.

Eventually he was stopped in Cassopolis but he resisted police officers. They eventually had to use a Taser to detain him.

Prosecutor Victor Fitz said at the time the plea deal was made, he was unaware of Irving’s poor past record but reluctantly agreed to keep it.

Fitz warned Irving that he is “dying a slow, liquid death.”

“His poison is alcohol,” he said.

Defense attorney Steven Woods said his client is in a treatment program and has attended seven sessions.

“He’s been trying to live a normal life for many years now,” he said.

For his part, Irving admitted he has a problem.

“I’m 60 years old, and I know I did wrong,” he said. “I have a disease, alcoholism. I want to change my lifestyle.”

Irving received credit for two days already served in jail and will spend six months on an alcohol monitoring system after his release.

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