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Schenectady man arrested for ninth time on drunken-driving charges

October 18, 2012
Updated 11:25 p.m.
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— A Schenectady man was arrested Wednesday for the ninth time on drunken-driving charges.

Kenneth Conner, 54, of 139 Elder St., was pulled over by Rotterdam police on Patton Drive around 8:30 p.m. for an equipment violation, according to police spokesman Lt. Jason Murphy.

An officer observed that Conner appeared to be intoxicated, Murphy said, and he was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent — almost twice the legal threshold for intoxication.

Conner was charged with felony driving while intoxicated. He was arraigned by Judge Kevin Mercoglan in Rotterdam Town Court and sent to the Schenectady County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Wednesday’s arrest was Conner’s ninth on DWI charges over a 34-year period.

State Department of Motor Vehicle records show Conner was most recently convicted of driving while intoxicated in Schenectady for a 2007 arrest. He was sentenced to a $500 fine and five days in jail. His license was also revoked.

He later completed the Drinking Driver Program and the revocation was cleared in May 2010 and Conner got his license back, records show. Murphy said the license was still valid Wednesday.

Felony drunken driving charges typically follow a second arrest over a span of 10 years. The exact dates of Conner’s other arrests and convictions were unavailable Thursday.

Conner was convicted in connection with a 1996 Albany County drunken driving arrest and sentenced to one to three years in state prison.

He later was sentenced to 1.5 to three years in prison in 2004 for a non-driving while intoxicated case from Saratoga County, records show.

Though Conner got his license back after his 2007 conviction, someone with his record would now be subject to a lifetime review by the DMV, according to regulations instituted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month.

Anyone with five or more alcohol or drug-related convictions over a lifetime will have their license permanently revoked.

Conner’s record has not been unique in recent years in Schenectady County. In 2011, a man was arrested on his eighth drunken driving case over 20 years. Earlier that year, a Rotterdam woman was arrested on her ninth over 30 years.

The man, 50-year-old Joseph Filkins, was sentenced to one year in jail. The woman, Heather Higgins, 52, was sentenced to one to three years in state prison.

 
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