Man to serve 90 days for driving drunk His record includes auto manslaughter

August 20, 1992|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

A 39-year-old Baltimore County man with a drunken driving record dating to 1974 and an auto manslaughter conviction in 1981 has been convicted again of drunken driving and sent to the county Detention Center for 90 days.

Deputy State's Attorney Howard Merker, calling the sentence lenient, said he had asked for a significant period of jail time for the offender.

John William Snyder of the 1700 block of Redwood Ave., which is off Loch Raven Boulevard east of Towson, was found guilty Monday in Towson District Court of drunken driving in an April 25 incident on Amuskai Road, near his home.

Police said Snyder's car was weaving up and down the street at 1:35 a.m., then struck a parked car and kept on moving. Officers found him asleep at the wheel several blocks away at 1:55 a.m., according to Mr. Merker, who prosecuted the case.

Judge John H. Garmer imposed a 14-month jail term but `D suspended all but 90 days. He also fined Snyder $680.

Snyder's record dates to 1974, when his first drunken-driving conviction occurred, Mr. Merker said. He had another in 1978, then was convicted of auto manslaughter after an accident Jan. 15, 1981, at York Road and Lake Avenue in Baltimore.

He served only 89 days in jail for that, according to Stephen J. Kleeman, his attorney in this week's case. Snyder did serve seven months in jail for another drunken- driving conviction in 1981, the attorney said.

"He has been honest and forthright about the problem," Mr. Kleeman said, pointing out that his client knows he has an alcohol problem. The man was sober for six years during the 1980s, the attorney said, and is again in treatment.

Snyder's driver's license was revoked after the manslaughter conviction, Mr. Merker said, and Snyder was convicted in 1987 of driving without a license.

His license was finally restored in March 1989.

Since then, Mr. Merker said, Snyder has been convicted of speeding three times.

His license was suspended after the April arrest and is being reviewed by the Motor Vehicle Administration medical board for revocation again, Mr. Merker said.

L "But that doesn't mean he won't drive," the prosecutor said.

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