Man gets 1 year for habitual DUI

WAILUKU – A man who said being jailed stopped his pattern of intoxicated driving was sentenced to a one-year jail term Wednesday for two habitual DUI convictions.

Jamie Karagianes, 31, of Kula was placed on five years’ probation and had his driver’s license revoked for five years as part of his sentence.

“Being in jail is something I never want to go through again,” Karagianes said in court. “I thank God I’m alive and didn’t hurt or kill anyone.”

He had pleaded no contest to two counts of habitually driving under the influence of an intoxicant, reckless driving, refusal to submit to testing, inattention to driving, criminal contempt of court and two counts of fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug.

The charges resulted from habitual DUI arrests Dec. 13 and 29, 2012. As part of a plea bargain, a habitual DUI charge was dismissed for another arrest July 14. Karagianes had been released after posting bail when he was arrested the two later times.

Deputy Prosecutor Terence Herndon said the state hoped that Karagianes had learned his lesson.

“He possibly very easily could have killed somebody,” Herndon said. “The multiplicity of his actions are very, very concerning.”

Defense attorney Sam MacRoberts said Karagianes benefited from the more than nine months he has been incarcerated so far, allowing him to be sober for that time.

While in jail, Karagianes said he had missed his baby’s first steps and first birthday. His wife was affected, as well, Karagianes said.

“I just want to be a good man,” he said. “There’s no option for failure in my sobriety.”

Bissen asked Karagianes: “When were you going to stop? When would have been the time?”

“I don’t believe I would have stopped,” Karagianes replied. “I was not going to seek treatment on my own. Coming to jail stopped me.”

While in jail for the past months, Karagianes hasn’t been driving and endangering others, Bissen said.

“If you cannot stop on your own, we just put you in jail longer,” the judge said. “It’s not to keep you from your family and it’s not to keep you from getting rehabilitation. It’s to keep you from being on the roads.

“There’s a hope you will connect this pattern of behavior with the consequences. I think now you recognize there’s a definite consequence.”

Bissen followed a plea agreement between the defense and prosecution in sentencing Karagianes.

He was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.

The habitual DUI charge can be brought when someone is arrested for DUI after having three prior DUI convictions within 10 years.

According to court records, Karagianes has prior DUI convictions in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.