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Stupid Case File for February 5, 2006

Which is more stupid: The Defendent or The Judge?

Courtesy of Image hosted by Photobucket.com

A man convicted more than 40 times of drunken driving or driving without a valid license has been sentenced to a year in jail, a day after his arrest on yet another driving charge.

Craig Irwin, 45, of Mandan, was sentenced Friday for a driving under revocation offense last year. He was arrested Thursday on charges of driving under revocation and having no liability insurance.

"Mr. Irwin has achieved celebrity status in North Dakota," Morton County State's Attorney Allen Koppy told South Central District Judge Donald Jorgensen on Friday. "He's a poster child for driving under revocation."

Irwin is not scheduled to get his driver's license back for at least 35 years. State records show that he has had more than 100 citations for driving infractions in the last 22 years, and has not been allowed to drive legally for 20 years.

Irwin told Jorgensen on Friday that he has a drinking problem.

Jorgensen's sentence allows Irwin to knock one day off his jail time for every day he spends in treatment.

"I'm going to grant you a chance," the judge said.

Irwin was arrested Thursday after being spotted driving out of a Mandan alley.

"Officers identified him because he's so well known in the area," Officer Kelly Wimer said.

The state Department of Transportation said Irwin has 420 points on his license. A license is revoked at 12 points.

"The record for Craig is very long," said Marsha Lembke, director of the department's driver's license and traffic safety division.

Irwin's mother, Chris Irwin, of Bismarck, said her son's alcohol problem began in high school after the death of his oldest brother.

"It was devastating," she said. "It was too much of a shock."

Chris Irwin said her son remarried about four months ago and has a new baby, a stepchild and two grown children, including a son who is going to college. She said he has been employed building a home in the area.

"He adores those children," she said.

Craig Irwin's attorney, Ralph Vinje, told Jorgensen that he has known Irwin for many years and that he is now "seeing a different person."


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