A Delaware man was sentenced to more than three and half years years in prison Friday for his eighth OVI conviction and for violating the probation conditions from his previous OVI.
David Joseph Hilt, 49, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Friday morning to be sentenced for one count of operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a third-degree felony.
At a hearing in February, Hilt pleaded guilty to the charged and admitted that on the night of Dec. 19 he had been drinking and got behind the wheel of a truck. Delaware police report they were called to the intersection of East Central Avenue and Grace Street after it was reported that a vehicle had crashed into a utility police.
Police found Hilt on scene and suspected he was under the influence, but he refused to take a breathalyzer test and was arrested.
Police and prosecutors reported that Hilt had been previously convicted of seven OVIs and was on probation for a 2013 felony OVI conviction when he was arrested on Dec. 19.
At the sentencing hearing on Friday, Hilt’s attorney Jonathan Klein, said Hilt is struggling with alcoholism.
“He’s not an evil person,” Klein said. “He’s got this disease called alcoholism.”
Klein likened Hilt’s alcoholism to a demon and said Hilt likely would need at least a six-month treatment program to address it.
“I need treatment,” Hilt said. “I need help. I do not want to go through this again. I don’t want to hurt anyone.”
Hilt said he has been battling alcoholism his entire life.
After hearing from Hilt, Klein and prosecutors, Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley sentenced Hilt to 18 months and 60 days in jail for the third-degree felony OVI charge. Gormley also ordered that he pay a fine of $2,000.
However, because Hilt drove drunk while he was on probation from his previous OVI conviction he was also given a prison sentence for violating probation. Gormley sentenced Hilt to serve an additional 24 months in prison for the violation to run consecutive to the prison term for the new felony conviction.
Gormley also ordered that Hilt’s license be suspended for 15 years and ordered that he undergo an alcohol addiction program in prison.
Additionally, Hilt was credited with 168 days he spent in the Delaware County Jail during this case and the previous one.
Hilt was in the Delaware County Jail Friday awaiting transportation to prison.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.