By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to a charge of driving with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.
It was the fifth DUI offense for Buster Ray, 52. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge after originally being charged with aggravated DUI, a Class X felony. He could have been sentenced for anywhere between 4 and 15 years, but agreed to a plea agreement that capped his sentence at 10 years. Friday's hearing was a plea and sentencing with Judge William Mays accepting the deal worked out by First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha and Chief Public Defender Holly Henze.
Ray was stopped around 5:35 p.m. on Oct. 1 near North 10th and Cherry by a member of the Quincy Police Department. According to Farha, the registration sticker on the 1991 Ford truck that Ray was driving was expired. The sticker actually had been placed on the wrong vehicle, Farha said. Ray was also found to be driving with no valid driver's license.
According to Farha, the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on Ray and Ray's speech was slurred. Ray failed a field sobriety test. An open 24-ounce can of Budweiser was found in a paper bag inside Ray's vehicle.
Ray took a breathalyzer test upon his booking at the Adams County Jail and it came back with a .12 blood alcohol content reading, Farha said.
This will be Ray's sixth trip to the DOC.
"He doesn't want to be a bad guy," Farha said of Ray, "but he has done some bad things."
Before he finished the sentencing phase of the hearing, Mays looked at Ray.
"Did I sent you to prison last time?" Mays asked Ray.
"Yep," Ray replied.
"Are you going to fix this problem?" Mays asked.
"Yeah, I guess so," Ray said.
Ray said little else during the hearing.
In addition to the DOC sentence, Ray is subject to two years of mandatory supervised release among completion of his prison term.