Prosecutor discusses case of Springettsbury Township man convicted of 12th DUI
A York County judge has convicted a Springettsbury Township man for his 12th DUI. Judge Thomas Kelley convicted Keith Rohrer Sr. of his 12th DUI offense, 3rd offense of Driving Under a Suspended License-DUI related, as well as being an habitual offender.
“His is the most prior offenses that I have ever seen anybody have,” said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jared Mellott.
Of Rohrer’s 12 Driving Under The Influence convictions, eight have been within the last ten years, which will affect his sentencing.
Mellott said cases with repeat offenders can be challenging. “We are not able to bring up the number of prior offenses when we are presenting the evidence, but it does make it more serious because it is higher stakes,” said Mellott. “I made this one a priority because the defendant in this particular case is such a threat to the public safety.”
“He was last sentenced in 2009 by Judge Kennedy for a three to 15 year sentence, and that was in State Prison. It was a fairly long sentence, but it was four separate DUI incidents that all happened close together in time,” said Mellott.
Rohrer’s latest arrest happened back in July 2013. According to police documents “The trial centered on a DUI arrest by Officer Cory Landis of the Springettsbury Township Police Department on Saturday, July 6, 2013. An eyewitness, who called the police, had observed Mr. Rohrer driving a motorcycle the wrong way on North Sherman Street at 12:30 a.m. Following a blood draw, Mr. Rohrer’s blood alcohol concentration was determined to be a 0.282%, or more than 3 times the legal limit in Pennsylvania.”
“There is a gap in the law that should be taken into account by the legislature. The mandatory sentence applies for a first offense up to ten years, the second offense and a third or subsequent offense. But the mandatory does not change for a fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight, ninth, tenth and so on offenses,” said Mellott.
Another concern is that Driving Under The Influence charges are always misdemeanors unless someone gets seriously injured or killed. “For retail theft, for shoplifting, that can become a felony for the third offense. The legislature is looking at some circumstances making repeat DUI offenses felonies, and this defendant in this case should be the poster boy for why that should happen,” said Mellott.
Rohrer will be sentenced July 29th. He is facing a maximum of 6 1/2 to 13 years in state prison. Rohrer was on parole at the time which will also factor into his sentence.