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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Two chronic DWI offenders sentenced

  • Two Missouri men who pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated — one for the 15th time and the other for the seventh time — were sentenced to serve prison terms Monday.
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  • Two Missouri men who pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated — one for the 15th time and the other for the seventh time — were sentenced to serve prison terms Monday.
    Michael Hodge, 60, of Springfield, Mo., was given a 10-year sentence in the Missouri Department of Corrections after he pleaded guilty to his seventh DWI offense.
    Lance Rotramel, 52, of Jackson, was sentenced to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections after he pleaded guilty to his 15th DWI offense.
    25th Circuit Judge D. Gregory Warren presided over the sentencing hearings. Both cases followed pleas of guilty made on Jan. 16, 2014. There was no plea bargain in either case.
    The St. James Police Department investigated the Hodge case, and the Rolla Police Department investigated the Rotramel case.
    Hodge was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Feb. 15, 2012, in St. James after he was stopped while he was pulling his girlfriend’s car out of a ditch.
    Hodge’s girlfriend had previously wrecked the car while exiting Interstate 44. After Hodge was arrested, blood was drawn from Hodge’s arm which was tested and indicated a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.151, or almost twice the legal limit.
    “St. James Police, and specifically Officer (Mickey) Boles, responded quickly to a traffic accident and stopped Mr. Hodge before he could drive further,” said Phelps County Assistant Prosecutor Brendon Fox, who was prosecutor in both cases. “Getting behind the wheel drunk for a seventh time is absolutely unforgivable and I am pleased with the court’s sentence.”
    Rotramel was arrested on a DWI charge on Aug, 23, 2013, in Rolla after a report of an impaired driver was called into central dispatch. Officer Joey Lahman, of the RPD, was able to stop Rotramel as he was entering on to westbound I-44.
    Field sobriety testing on the scene indicated Rotramel was impaired and he was placed under arrest.  At the the Rolla Police Department station, Rotramel refused to provide a breath sample.
    “With 15 DWI convictions, Lance Rotramel is the worst DWI offender I have seen as a prosecutor,” Fox said. “I am so thankful for Officer Lahman and the rest of RPD for catching Rotramel before he killed somebody.”
    Warren granted both Hodges’s and Rotramel’s requests and ordered long-term treatment in the Department of Corrections.
    “Both defendants could be released after two years, if they successfully complete the program,” said Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney John Beger. “If they don’t, or if they violate again after being released, they will serve the rest of their sentences.”

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