Man Who Won Dwi Changes Again Charged

March 18, 1992|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff writer

An Ellicott City man who changed a Maryland drunken-driving statute through the state's highest court has been charged in connection witha December car accident that county police say is alcohol-related.

Jacobs E. Sites, 60, three times convicted of driving while intoxicated, was charged again with DWI after his car crossed the center line and hit another car in Ellicott City. Police say he had a .24 bloodalcohol level.

Police on Monday charged Sites with driving while intoxicated, crossing the center line and not wearing a seat belt. He was released early yesterday morning on a $300 bond.

The accident at Rogers Avenue, north of Linwood Road, occurred a year and a month after his 1989probation on a DWI conviction expired. Police say he was southbound when his car crossed the center line and struck a northbound car head-on.

Sites and the driver of the other car, a 20-year-old Columbiawoman, were flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center with injuries they received in the accident.

Sites had also been convicted previously for drunken driving. He was charged in February 1986 with DWI after police saw him driving the wrong way on Little Patuxent Parkway.

He received a 60-day suspended sentence, 18 months of supervised probation and orders to undergo alcohol evaluation and therapy.

Three years earlier, he had been convicted of DWI when police recorded a 0.17 blood alcohol level -- 0.04 higher than the limits of intoxication at the time. He received six months probation.

Sites challenged that conviction in 1984, saying police denied him due process for not allowing him to call a lawyer, despite three requests. The Maryland Court of Appeals -- in a precedent-setting decision -- ruled in Sites' favor that police must allow drunken-driving suspects "a reasonable opportunity" to call their lawyers before taking a Breathalyzer test.

His conviction, however, was upheld because the court determined he received a fair trial despite police error.

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