A Vernal man who was spared a prison sentence in 1998, even though he racked up 20 driving-while-intoxicated convictions, has been arrested and charged with drunken driving.

James C. Hartman, 34, was charged with a third-degree felony DUI after he was arrested by a Uintah County deputy sheriff earlier this month.According to the arrest report, the deputy was responding to two phone calls received by dispatchers regarding a possible drunken driver around 7 a.m. April 1.

The deputy found Hartman's vehicle stopped and found Hartman had passed out and was slumped over the steering wheel.

The deputy said Hartman was unable to stand or complete a sobriety test.

He was booked into the Uintah County Jail and released on $5,100 bond. A court date is pending.

In November 1995, 8th District Court Judge John R. Anderson gave Hartman a suspended 0-5 year prison sentence for his 20th DUI conviction. In lieu of prison time, Hartman was ordered to complete a 60-day alcohol treatment program and serve 60 days in the Duchesne County jail.

He was also placed on three years supervised probation and fined $1,500.

The sentence was seen as exceptionally lenient by prosecutors and local representatives of MADD or Mothers Against Drunk Driving.