AZTEC — A man was sentenced to one year in jail on Monday for his fifth DWI.

Burt Bitsillie, 42, pleaded guilty to drunken driving during his arraignment in district court.

District Judge Bill Birdsall sentenced Bitsillie to one year in jail followed by supervised probation. He will also be required to have an Interlock breathylzer device installed on his vehicle for the rest of his life.

"That's a way to make sure he's not out there threatening anybody," Birdsall said.

Bitsillie was arrested Dec. 30 in San Juan County. He said in court his blood alcohol content was .24 at the time of his arrest.

The legal limit for operating a vehicle is .08.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Brent Capshaw said Bitsillie was first convicted of DWI when he was 18 in 1988.

He also was convicted of DWI in 1994, 2004 and 2007, he said. DWIs in New Mexico become felonies when a person is convicted for the fourth time.

Bitsillie spent 246 days in jail followed by probation for his fourth DWI in 2007.

He will serve his sentence at the San Juan County Detention Center, Birdsall said.

Ruth Wheeler, Bitsillie's attorney, asked for a furlough from jail so Bitsillie could get his affairs in order before he serves his sentence.

Birdsall denied the request but said he may consider a work-release program.


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