PLATTSMOUTH – A man who committed his fourth lifetime DUI offense in Cass County last spring will serve one year in state prison for the crime.
Ashland resident Jordan L. Walpus, 32, appeared in Cass County District Court on Monday morning for a sentencing hearing. He pled guilty in January to one Class IIIA felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol-.15+-third offense. The state reduced its original Class IIA felony charge of DUI-.15+-fourth offense as part of a plea bargain.
A Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped Walpus April 16 for speeding on Highway 6 in western Cass County. The deputy immediately noticed Walpus had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech and asked him if he had been drinking. Walpus said he had consumed at least five drinks before driving.
The deputy arrested him after he refused to take a preliminary breath test at the scene. Authorities later gave him a chemical breath test at Cass County Jail. The chemical test revealed a blood-alcohol content level of .208.
Walpus had three DUI offenses prior to his April arrest. The first offense took place in Cass County in October 2007 and the second happened in Saunders County in October 2009. The third DUI occurred in Douglas County in February 2014.
The state remained silent at Monday’s hearing due to an agreement contained in the plea bargain. Defense attorney Thomas Prickett told the court his client had remained sober for the past eight months and had participated in intensive outpatient treatment and counseling. He asked the court to issue a probation sentence that would include 60 days in jail and a five-year loss of driving privileges.
Judge Michael Smith said he was concerned about the inability of Walpus to avoid relapsing after previous DUIs. He said he felt incarceration would make it clear to Walpus that he needed to break that pattern with his future decisions.
“It’s not just you that this affects,” Smith said. “You are out there endangering a lot of other people when you are drinking and driving.”
Smith ordered Walpus to serve a term of one year in the Nebraska Department of Corrections. He will also serve 18 months of post-release supervision and will have his driver’s license revoked for 15 years. He will be able to obtain an ignition interlock permit after 45 days of his license suspension.
Smith ordered Walpus to turn himself in to Cass County Jail Friday afternoon. Authorities will then transport him to the Nebraska Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.