Questions arise after St. Louis-area man arrested for 4th DWI

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by Lindsay Bramson / News 4 and KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 5:13 PM

CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOV) -- A man who keeps drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car is facing his 4th DWI offense. The latest incident represents an issue police are struggling to get a hold of: repeat offenders.

“Repeat offenders are a big problem for us,” said St. Louis County Police Officer Randy Vaughn, who added they have no control over it. “They always have been and it’s not just DWI’s, it’s numerous other aspects of law enforcement, but it’s something we deal with on a constant basis.”

Clayton police arrested 45-year-old Christopher Heil after they say he was driving drunk on Clayton Rd. near Demun.

According to investigators, when the light turned green, Heils car didn’t move for more than seven seconds.

The officer pulled him over and gave Heil a breathalyzer test. He allegedly blew a .24, more than three times the legal limit.

Heil now faces his 4th DWI conviction.

“If you’ve already been arrested for a DWI offense and you’re still making those types of decisions, I can’t even wrap my head around that,” said Vaughn.

Heil previously pleaded guilty for DWI back in 2000 and 2001. He also pleaded guilty in 2011.

“There needs to be a line drawn somewhere,” said resident Ed Byrd. “ Like I said, get rid of people, take licenses. It would teach a lot of people lessons who thought about something like this.”

So why is it people like Heil are allowed to get back behind the wheel? Police can only do so much. It’s the judges who reduce bond and impose shorter sentences.

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