Erie DA wants stiffer term for man drunk in court

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - September 16, 2011

County Judge John Garhart agreed for forgo a "mandatory" 90-day sentence for Christopher Benoit, when he was sentenced Wednesday for his second DUI within 10 years. Instead, the judge gave Benoit five years' probation and 90 days house arrest and ordered him to attend three Alcoholic Anonymous meetings a week.

But prosecutors say Benoit's blood-alcohol content was 0.16 percent - twice the legal limit for drivers - when probation officials processed him just after his sentencing.

Prosecutors want a tougher sentence as a result.

Benoit's attorney, William Weichler, tells the Erie Times-News Benoit's intoxication in court may have exhibited poor judgment, but wasn't illegal and, in fact, underscores the addiction the judge's sentence addressed.

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