Man gets jail over driving drunk again

WAILUKU – A man who was “drunk as a skunk” when he was arrested for drunken driving last year was sentenced Aug. 1 to a 30-day jail term.

Joseph Maui Lee Freehouse, 30, also was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $437 in fees. His driver’s license was revoked for two years.

Freehouse had pleaded no contest to drunken driving as a third offense in connection with his arrest Sept. 2.

“You were pretty much drunk as a skunk,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told Freehouse. “You didn’t even know where you were.”

Police found an empty 12-pack of beer in the back of Freehouse’s vehicle.

As he was being transported to the police station, Freehouse was swearing, police said. In the processing room of the police station, he first urinated on himself, then pulled off his pants and urinated on a wall, police said.

Noting that Freehouse has prior DUI convictions, Loo said he should have realized that he couldn’t drink and drive.

Freehouse said that he had been at a party near his house. “I ended up drinking with my friends,” he said. “A fight broke out at the party. I was so intoxicated I didn’t know what was going on.”

“That’s scary,” Loo told Freehouse. “You had so much to drink, you didn’t remember what happened.”

A felony DUI charge originally brought against Freehouse had been reduced, with Deputy Public Defender William “Pili” McGrath citing “proof issues in the case.”

He said Freehouse was working and had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“I pretty much quit drinking since the incident – eight or nine months now,” Freehouse said in court.

Although attorneys recommended a 10-day jail term for Freehouse, Loo said that he had been sentenced to 20 days in jail for his previous DUI conviction. She imposed the maximum 30-day jail term for the charge.

“I would have hoped you would have learned,” Loo told Freehouse. “You’re back here again doing the same thing.”