(WARREN COUNTY, Oh) - A man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after a Warren County jury found him guilty of his 7th OVI offense. Judge James L. Flannery chose the maximum sentence allowed after he observed that Ralph Pottorf Jr., 48, showed no remorse for the offence and would continue to drive intoxicated with no intention of obeying the law.
Pottorf crashed into a fence on the side of the road while driving on U.S. Route 42 in Union Township on December 21, 2013. The property owner heard the crash and saw Pottorf trying to get his vehicle out of the fence by driving forward and then in reverse. Pottorf left his vehicle and began walking south on U.S. Route 42 after he couldn't move his vehicle. A Warren County Sheriff took Pottorf into custody nearby after the property owner called 9-1-1. Portoff showed signs of being under the influence of alcohol, but he refused to take a breath test.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said, "Judge Flannery did the right thing in this case. His sentence sends a message that our office, and the Court itself, is serious about punishing serial OVI offenders. Unfortunately, they do not learn from their past mistakes, so the only way to keep the public safe is to lock them up to guarantee they cannot drive. As we see all too often, with offenders like Pottorf, it's only a matter of time of when, not if, some innocent person will be killed.".
Pottorf has a criminal history that includes several prior felonies and has served multiple prior prison sentences. He was just released from prison less than a year ago from his last felony OVI conviction.