A 59-year-old Hilmar man has been sentenced to four years in prison after he reportedly struck a car twice while driving drunk and trying to pull out of a parking spot in Turlock.
Prosecutors charged Luis Manuel Melo with a felony, because he had been convicted of driving under the influence before. Melo has six felony DUI convictions in the past 12 years, including his most recent criminal case.
Melo on March 23 pleaded no contest to a felony charge of driving under the influence, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office announced this week in a news release. Deputy District Attorney Joel Dunn prosecuted the case.
The defendant also admitted a special allegation for having a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 percent or higher. Prosecutors said Melo's blood alcohol content level was 0.21 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
About 11:40 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2016, a witness spotted Melo trying to back out of a parking spot on Main Street in downtown Turlock. Prosecutors said he tried to back out twice, but each time his vehicle struck the car parked in the spot next to him.
The witness noticed Melo’s driving and called 911. Police officers responded to the call and spoke with Melo, who showed apparent signs of intoxication, according to prosecutors. He was arrested and later formally charged.
The District Attorney's Office urge witnesses to call 911 or local law enforcement officials whenever they see someone driving drunk.