Franklin man faces 13th OVI charge after latest arrest

A Franklin man was arrested early Wednesday morning for what Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said was the 13th time he has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

According to state patrol, Thomas French, 58, of Franklin was arrested at 2:32 a.m. Wednesday in Middletown near the intersection of State Route 4 and Carmody Boulevard after being pulled over for a speeding violation.

“Upon stopping the vehicle for a speeding violation, troopers detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, observed blood shot/glassy eyes, slurred speech as well as poor finger dexterity,” said OSHP officials.

“Mr. French submitted to standardized field sobriety test and was subsequently arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence, a felony of the 3rd degree. Mr. French was incarcerated in the Middletown City Jail and is awaiting his initial arraignment.”

Police records show it was French’s first OVI since 2008 but his string of 11 other arrests for the offense started with an arrest in 1978.

In 1979 he was arrested for OVI and then twice in 1982, once in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1991, twice in 2002 and in 2004.

OSHP officials said the incident is a reminder that the coming Super Bowl football game weekend - with all its many parties - is a good time to remember the importance of driving sober.

“With Super Bowl Weekend upon us, motorists are reminded to plan ahead while out enjoying the big game. Utilize ride share services such as Uber and Lyft. Do not get behind the wheel if you have done too many cheers while cheering on your team,” said officials.

“Troopers along with local law enforcement officers will be highly visible to ensure safe travels for all fans this weekend. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

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