News 12 at Six o'clock, June 12, 2007.
Aiken, SC---An Augusta man is arrested again for driving under the influence. Harry Jefferson Rogers was stopped in a traffic stop off Richland Avenue in Aiken when officers asked if he had any prior convictions, the incident report says he bragged he had 27 prior DUI arrests. News 12 could only confirm six of Roger's DUI arrests in the state of Georgia. But because this was his first arrest in the Palmetto State, he's charged again, but as a first time offender.
"There should be stricter penalties the first time," said Bonnie Kneece, a member of Aiken's Mother's Against Drunk Driving.
According to the police report, Rogers was spotted swerving in and out of the lanes on Richland Avenue on Saturday morning just before nine o'clock. His blood alcohol level was clocked in at .22 that's nearly three times the .08 legal limit. Police say even Rogers admitted he broke the law. The arresting officer state when he asked him 'What will it take for you to stop driving under the influence?' The incident report says Roger's response was, "I'll do this until I die."
"I think this man needs be put face to face with people affected by because jail is obviously not working," said Kneece. Her husband nearly died two years ago after a drunk driver threw him off his bike. "Just because my family was affected once doesn't mean my children won't be," she said.
Solicitor, Harold Jones says habitual DUI offenders like Rogers, are required to have an ignition interlock system installed in their car that requires the driver to blow into the machine in order to start the engine. But in this case Rogers didn't even have a license. "The criminal justice system has tried to do what it can but of course there will be gaps and here you have someone who blatantly says 'I'm gonna drive a car and get behind the wheel and that's where the problem lies,' " he said.
The Department of Corrections website says Rogers has been in and out jail for about four years for previous arrests.