Judge Robert J. Elgee on Monday sentenced a 56-year-old Bellevue man to 205 days in jail for a felony DUI conviction, allowing credit for 198 days already spent behind bars and giving him an extra week to find a place to live before he's released from jail.
The case involved Richard Dean Barkes, who has been incarcerated in the Blaine County jail since his arrest in Bellevue on Sept. 18.
Barkes was charged with felony DUI for having an "excessive" blood-alcohol level. Under Idaho law, a person arrested for driving with a blood-alcohol level of .20 or greater can be charged with a felony if he or she was convicted within five years of another DUI when the blood-alcohol content was also at least .20.
According to court records, Barkes' blood-alcohol level in his latest arrest was .27. He was convicted in July 2010 of misdemeanor DUI for an arrest in June of that year when he had a blood-alcohol level of .23.
The legal limit for driving in Idaho is .08.
In court Monday, Barkes was also given a four-year suspended prison sentence, placed on probation for four years and had his driver's license suspended for 18 months.
Hailey attorney Christopher Simms, who was appointed public defender, said Barkes has an alcohol problem but has gone through long periods of his life without drinking.
'I believe that Mr. Barkes, other than his alcohol abuse, is a good citizen," Simms said, adding that he is trying to help arrange treatment programs and a place for Barkes to live once released from jail.
"Don't make Mr. Simms care about you more than you do," Elgee told the defendant. "He's trying to put a plan together for your life. You've got to stop drinking. Unless you want to end up in prison, you've got to come out of that hole."
Terry Smith: email@example.com