An Eau Claire man will spend three years in prison for having a hit-and-run crash while intoxicated.
It was his ninth arrest for drunken driving, police say.
Taza T. Carter, 61, 2419 Sunset Drive, pleaded no contest recently in Eau Claire County Court to a felony count of ninth-offense drunken driving and an unrelated felony count of bail jumping.
Judge Sarah Harless ordered Carter to spend three years on extended supervision following his release from prison.
Carter was fined $2,490, must pay $173 in restitution and had his driver’s license revoked for three years.
As conditions of supervision, Carter cannot drink alcohol or enter taverns.
According to the criminal complaint:
Eau Claire police were sent to South Hastings Way and Highland Avenue Dec. 22 on a report of a hit and run.
No one was with the crashed vehicle so officers ran a records check to discover who owned it.
An officer contacted the owner, who said Carter had borrowed the car. The owner admitted Carter had been drinking prior to driving.
The owner called Carter, who agreed to return to the crash scene to speak to officers.
Two unopened cans of beer were under the vehicle.
Carter said he left the scene because he was scared.
Carter admitted he had two or three beers before he drove the vehicle.
Officers could smell the odor of intoxicated beverages coming from Carter’s breath.
An officer learned Carter had several prior drunken driving convictions, which meant he was restricted to a blood alcohol level of 0.02 for driving purposes.
Carter failed field sobriety tests.
Carter was arrested after a breath test showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.139. He was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire for a blood draw. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.158.
Carter was previously convicted of drunken driving in October 2002 and three times in December 2004 in Chippewa County, in April 2003 and November 2012 in Eau Claire County, and in March 1991 and March 1998 in Illinois.