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'Quirk' keeps man charged with DUIs out of state prison

December 29, 2005|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

A Waynesboro, Pa., husband and wife with four convictions for driving under the influence between them were sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to serve time in the county prison.

Kenneth Lee Barlup, 42, of 12222 Polktown Road, Apt. 68, was sentenced by Judge Douglas Herman to 63 days to 18 months in jail for three counts of driving under the influence. His wife, Collette Michelle Barlup, 38, received a sentence of five days to six months.

Kenneth Barlup had been arrested for driving under the influence on March 21, Aug. 13 and Sept. 12, according to Assistant District Attorney Jeremiah Zook. He had pleaded guilty to all three charges on Oct. 31, according to court records.

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"I can only imagine the number of times you were driving drunk during that time" and were not caught, Herman said. "You can't keep doing this."

The judge noted Barlup had previous convictions which, according to court records, took place in 1988 and 1993.

Herman told Barlup he could have been sentenced to state prison except for "a quirk in the law which has yet to be addressed by the legislature."

Zook said later that the two previous convictions had occurred more than 10 years ago, so Barlup's first arrest in 2005 was considered a first offense under Pennsylvania law. The quirk in the law, Zook said, is that Barlup had not been convicted on any of the 2005 charges until he entered the plea agreement on Oct. 31.

"A prior offense is defined as a conviction," Zook said. "As long as you haven't been sentenced on the first one, they are all first offenses" for the purpose of mandatory sentencing, he said.

The mandatory minimum sentence on each conviction could have been three days, Zook said, but the judge was free to exceed that at his discretion.

Herman did, giving Barlup three days for the first offense, 20 days for the second and 40 days for the third. Barlup also was fined $1,000 for each offense and ordered to pay thousands more in court costs and fees.

"The thing about alcoholism is ... it continues to grow within you," said Barlup, who told Herman he has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings two times a week. "That alcoholism is there for the rest of my life," he said.

Collette Barlup, 38, had pleaded guilty to a 2004 charge of driving under the influence. Zook said she had been placed on the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, a probationary program for first offenders, but was later found in violation for missing a counseling session.

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