Charles R Zemp had 17 previous DUI convictions, including five felony convictions when he was arrested in Knox County in May, 2014. He had also been convicted as a habitual traffic offender felon six times. When convicted he received a sentence of four years for his DUI and four years for his habitual motor vehicle offender crime. The two sentences were ordered to run consecutively for an 8 year sentence.
His public defender argued the sentences were too great. He argued Zemp was "a very careful drunk driver".
At his appeal the Defendant argued that his record of criminal activity was not actually extensive because it consisted almost entirely of motor vehicle offenses.
Here is the problem we face with recidivism in Tennessee. Defendants (and defense attorneys) seem to think their dangerous behavior is not criminal and that they should not be punished.
We will watch this case for further developments. Let's hope the Department of Corrections holds onto this guy for a while.