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"Mr. DWI" Notches Another Arrest in S.D. Associated Press February 10, 2005 kansascity.com
RAPID CITY, S.D. - "Mr. DWI" is in trouble again. Jerry R. Zeller, 64, who has been arrested multiple times for drunk driving, was arrested again on Tuesday. He's had so many arrests that law enforcement officials aren't sure of the total.
Ron Bedard, the police officer who arrested Zeller on Tuesday, said Zeller's criminal record "seems to indicate roughly 33 prior arrests for DUI."
"It's outrageous that Mr. Zeller is allowed to continue to flout the criminal justice system," Police Chief Craig Tieszen said.
"Right now it's an interesting news story, but we will all be outraged when he kills somebody on (DUI) number 35."
Some entries on Zeller's criminal record might be duplicates, said Kara Wood, deputy state's attorney in Pennington County. By Wood's count, Zeller has been arrested 16 times and convicted nine times since 1980.
But she added, "I just don't have an accurate number."
Zeller's latest arrest was his second in five months, she said.
A police report said a breath test on Zeller during Tuesday's arrest indicated a blood alcohol content of 0.286 percent. The South Dakota limit is 0.08 percent.
Even though he has a prior drunk driving charge pending and twice failed to show up for court on that charge, Zeller was released from the county jail on Wednesday after posting a $2,800 bond.
"I don't know what to say," said Lila Doud, president of the Pennington County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "We have just absolutely got to get him off the road so he doesn't kill someone, because we know it's going to happen, sooner or later."
Now, police want the state's attorney to charge Zeller's 84-year-old mother with allowing an unauthorized person to drive a vehicle registered in her name.
"I believe she's going to be charged with allowing an unauthorized driver to drive her vehicle," Wood said Thursday.
A notation in Zeller's file said his driver's license has been revoked for life.