Still Behind The Wheel: Convicted Of Second Degree Murder, Habitual Drunk Driver

10:00 PM, Aug 13, 2012   |    comments
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Forsyth County, NC--  Lance Snyder has racked up numerous DWI's since 1982 when he was convicted of 2nd degree murder after driving drunk.

The Winston-Salem Journal did a story on this man with a drunk driving past that we wanted to share.

News 2's Liz Crawford took Snyder's record to a former DA. The former Forsyth County District Attorney says Lance Snyder is the most unusual habitual drunk driver the state of North Carolina has ever seen.

"He's one of the people that you can't even write a statute about in the legislature because no one could predict that a man who's in his mid fifties could run up a record like this," said Tom Keith.

Here's just some of Snyder's history:

In 1982, he drove drunk and slammed into another car, killing a Walkertown couple and their infant granddaughter. His blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Convicted of second degree murder, he was sentenced to 14 years, but served 2 ½ years before being paroled.

He got out in 1988 and was arrested three more times for DWI in the first six months after his release. He went back to jail and served just another 10 months in 1989. Remember, this was just a few years after his murder conviction.

In 1991, he was the first person in the state to be charged with habitual drunk driving. It was supposed to make the law tougher. But Snyder still only served nine months in prison.

Finally, he got arrested again for DWI in 1993 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Case closed, right?

Snyder did serve 17 years of that sentence, but he got out in 2010. In 2011, he was charged with another DWI in Guilford County. And just last month, another Guilford County DWI charge.

That's not even everything.

Former DA, Tom Keith said, "Have him on house arrest with an ankle bracelet so he can't leave his house, just like you do with a sexual predator...forever. He can't leave his house, he can't go to a bar. If he does, a probation officer comes and sweeps him off his feet."

There are some existing laws that could keep Snyder locked up. However, Tom Keith said you'd have to convict him, not as a drunk driver, but as mental health patient.

The two DWI's Snyder received the past two years in Guilford County are only misdemeanors, not felonies. That's because DWI laws cut off your relevant history at ten years rather than looking at your entire life history. In Snyder's case, he spent that period in prison before racking up these last two recent charges.

His court date for those charges is set for September.

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