Man faces charges for 12th DUI

Man faces charges for 12th DUI »Play Video
PORT ORCHARD - A grieving mother says it shouldn't take 12 times for a drunk driver to learn a lesson. Opponents of drunk driving call it a dirty dozen. And they can't wait for the new felony DUI law to take effect to put repeat drunk drivers in prison.

The felony DUI law was passed by the legislature last year, but it won't go in force until July 1. It means repeat drunk drivers have just a few weeks before the judicial system really cracks down on them.

Charles Sorenson is a chronic repeat drunk driver. New drunk driving charges filed Thursday will increase the total to 12 DUIs.

"It doesn't take 12 times. It only takes one time," said Nora Sizemore, the mother of a drunk driving victim. "It should never get to 12 times. It has to stop before that."

Sizemore painfully knows it only takes one. Her young son Kyle was killed in a drunk driving crash. She was in court Thursday with other members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving making sure justice is served on a sad anniversary. Her son's crash was exactly two years ago today.

"It's a real tough day. It's a real tough day," she said. "It's the last day that I saw my son alive."

She's disheartened that Sorenson won't be dealt with under the new Felony DUI law. That would have anyone with 5 DUIs in a 10-year period get up to three years in prison. But it's still four months away from going into effect.

That's frustrating for Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer, who also wanted to be in court to watch the proceedings.

"It's extremely frustrating for me, for the deputies," Boyer said. "It's one of the most important things we do is arrest drunk drivers. Drunk driving is like a homicide in progress."

So for now, if convicted, Sorenson just faces a few months in jail for a misdemeanor. But come July 1, his next DUI would put him in prison for several years.

"I think it'll get the chronic offenders off the road and in prison where the public is safe," Sizemore said.

Right now, Sorenson won't be on the road any time soon since he's being held on $2 million bail. Trial is set for May 11.

It comes on the heels of another repeat drunk driver here who had five DUIs and only got a year in jail. If the arrest had happened after July 1st, it would have three times that length.