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Tyler County drunk driver pleas on DWI charges from 2011 arrest

by Emily Waldrep

A Tyler County drunk driver pled on two cases, including a DWI 2nd, on April 4 in Tyler County Court and was sentenced to 80 hours community service, a large fine and other stipulations.

The plea was the result of an arrest from 2011. According to Dan Hunt from the District Attorney's office, Officer John Fuller of the Woodville Police Department, who is now Constable Fuller of Precinct 2, was dispatched to a reckless driver coming south on Highway 69 from the Doucette area into Woodville on August 9, 2011. Officer Fuller observed a vehicle matching the description stopped on the southbound shoulder of the highway just inside the Woodville city limits. The driver was standing beside the pickup truck attempting to put gasoline in the vehicle. Officer Fuller made contact with the driver, and immediately smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the driver's breath. He also noticed the driver was swaying when standing and was slurring his speech.

Officer Fuller identified the driver as Elie John Fruge III and called for a DPS Trooper to assist. Trooper Buck Odom of the Highway Patrol arrived and immediately noticed the odor of alcohol, swaying, and slurred speech, as well as bloodshot eyes. Fruge admitted to drinking one and a half beers before driving.

"The Trooper administered Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, and Fruge performed poorly," Hunt said. "Fruge submitted to a breath test at the Tyler County Jail. The results showed Fruge's Blood Alcohol Level was more than 4 times the legal limit."

Fruge was present in court on April 4, and pled on two cases, including the DWI 2nd from 2011.
According to Assistant District Attorney Dan Hunt, Fruge got 2 years probation, including a fine of $1,000, 80 hours community service, an ignition interlock for the duration of probation, and an Alcohol/Drug Assessment and compliance with all recommendations, on the DWI 2nd. Three days incarceration in the Tyler County Jail were a condition, and Mr. Fruge received credit for three days he has already served. He also got 1 year probation on a unrelated Criminal Trespass case.