Serial drunk driver accused of DUII once again - KPTV - FOX 12

Serial drunk driver accused of DUII once again

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A man who has been convicted of drunk driving at least eight times has been arrested again, and this time he's accused of slamming into a Trimet bus.

Portland police say Lonnie Johnson was drunk last night when he crashed into the bus at the intersection of SE Foster and 62nd Avenue.

Johnson's criminal record shows convictions in Multnomah, Yamhill, Tillamook and Marion counties. The Portland man has at least eight DUII convictions dating back to 1991 and now he's accused of driving drunk again just last night, when he allegedly crashed into the back of a Trimet bus.

Court documents give a detailed account of what happened.

The bus driver says she was on SE Foster at around 9:30 last night when a Jeep slammed into the back of her bus then sped off. When cops showed up to Johnson's home, court documents say he confessed to being the driver and that he had been to a bar just before the crash. He also told police that he has 11 DUII arrests in the past 25 years, even more than Fox 12 investigators could track down.

"To think that the dude's been doing it 11 times and getting away with it? That's scary.  He should be in jail for a very long time. For sure," Heidi Martin, who lives in the area, said.

Fox 12 has learned that a drunk driver, even one who has multiple previous convictions like Johnson, can only get a maximum five year jail term. The DA's office says the first DUII is considered a misdemeanor, and so is the second. If a driver gets a third DUII within a 10 year period, it becomes a Class C felony, and that carries a maximum five year prison time. Same goes for the fourth, fifth and sixth DUIIs after that and so on. Unless there are other charges linked to the DUII, a judge cannot sentence the driver to more time.

Johnson is at the Multnomah County Jail tonight. His most recent conviction we found is out of Tillamook County from 2008. That was only the second DUII arrest within a 10 year period - a misdemeanor - so the judge gave him a one year sentence.

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