The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 07, 2021 1:00 am

Habitual count sought in DWI case

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

Kosciusko County prosecutors are asking that an Akron, Indiana, man be found to be an habitual vehicular substance offender after he allegedly crashed his vehicle into a buggy while driving drunk.

Prosecutors filed documents Monday seeking habitual vehicular substance offender status for Kevin Alan Swihart, 30, who was arrested in the Friday afternoon crash that sent a girl to a hospital. The girl, a passenger in the buggy, was last reported in stable condition.

Swihart was charged Monday with leaving the scene of an accident and causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more.

Prosecutors can seek habitual vehicular substance offender status if a person has at least two unrelated vehicular substance abuse convictions, with at least one of them occurring in the last 10 years. The status can add up to eight years to a person's sentence if convicted.

According to the prosecutor's office, Swihart was convicted in August 2012 of misdemeanor operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more and in September 2014 of felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction within five years.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday in Kosciusko Circuit/Superier Court, Swihart's blood alcohol level was 0.153% – nearly twice the legal limit – Friday when he crashed his Nissan pickup truck into the buggy in the 9600 block of Indiana 19 North. The buggy was destroyed.

Swihart left the scene but was stopped by police after they heard reports of a Nissan pickup truck being driven erratically in southern Kosciusko County. 

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