by robert stewart
Advocate staff writer
February 21, 2013
Baton Rouge police arrested a 59-year-old man Monday accused of driving while intoxicated, his third DWI arrest in less than a year and second in two weeks.
Michael Sharp, 11685 Mollylea Drive, Baton Rouge, was booked Monday into Parish Prison on one count each of third-offense DWI, operating a vehicle while under suspension for a prior arrest, reckless operation of a vehicle and speeding.
Sharp’s bail was set at $26,500 for the third-offense DWI count, Parish Prison booking records show.
Sharp was still in prison as of 7 p.m. Wednesday, Parish Prison officials said.
Sharp’s previous DWI arrests came on March 29 and Jan. 29, according to an affidavit of probable cause for Sharp’s most recent arrest.
His driver’s license had been suspended because of his previous DWI arrests, the affidavit says.
In the Monday arrest, Sharp was driving a white Mazda 6 east in the 11300 block of Mollylea Drive, only a few blocks from his home, when he was clocked driving 44 mph in a 30 mph zone, the affidavit says.
Police tried to get Sharp to stop, but he “drove in a reckless manner and refused to stop for several blocks” before eventually pulling over, the affidavit says.
An officer believed Sharp was intoxicated because he reeked of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and was slurring his speech, the affidavit says.
Sharp refused to undergo a field sobriety test and a blood alcohol content breath test, the affidavit says. He was then booked into Parish Prison.
The outcomes of Sharp’s first two DWI cases are pending in Baton Rouge City Court, said Lon Norris, City Court administrator.
Sharp was set for a City Court trial on July 3 in the first DWI accusation, Norris said.
Sharp was booked with first-offense DWI, improper lane usage, drinking in a motor vehicle and failure to obey a stop sign in the March arrest, Parish Prison booking records show.
An associate of Sharp’s posted a $2,500 bond for Sharp, Norris said. That bail amount is standard for a first-offense DWI, he said.
Sharp was scheduled for arraignment April 1, 2013, in the second DWI case, Norris said. Sharp posted a $3,250 bond after his arrest, Parish Prison officials said.
Sharp was booked with second-offense DWI, speeding and reckless operation of a vehicle in that incident, booking records show.
District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Wednesday the third-offense DWI case may end up in state District Court as a potential felony, if Sharp is convicted on the first- and second-offense cases.
“We will either need to see what happens in City Court on the first two or take all of them” in District Court, Moore said in an email response.