When does a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence become a felony? For one Twin Falls man, it was when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence twice in less than 48 hours.
Virgil Keith McCabe, 43, was arraigned Tuesday in Twin Falls County Magistrate Court on two felony counts of driving under the influence.
McCabe was pulled over the first time about 10:15 p.m. on June 14 by an officer from the Twin Falls Police Department. The cop said he pulled McCabe over because his exhaust was too loud, but when McCabe rolled down his window, the officer could smell the odor of alcohol coming from his breath.
Police ran several field tests which confirmed their suspicions, and at the county jail McCabe submitted to a breathalyzer test. Two tests showed his blood alcohol level about 0.11. The legal limit to drive in Idaho is 0.08.
McCabe was arrested and booked but posted bond right away. At that point, he was charged only with a misdemeanor.
But two nights later, McCabe was again pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, this time in Hansen. Police say McCabe, driving the same 1994 Honda Civic he was driving two nights prior, failed to stop at a stop sign, went off the road while turning and then swerved as he drove north on Rock Creek Road.
An officer from the Kimberly-Hansen Police Department pulled McCabe over.
“He was clear of warrants but had a suspended driver’s status,” the officer wrote in a sworn affidavit. “The more he talked, the more he slurred his words.”
McCabe’s eyes were bloodshot and he couldn’t smoothly track movements, court documents said. Tested twice with a breathalyzer, McCabe’s blood alcohol level was about 0.14, once again well over the legal limit to drive.
McCabe was again arrested on a misdemeanor count, booked and released on bond. But prosecutors amended both misdemeanor counts to felony counts because of the circumstances.
Court records show McCabe was also convicted of driving under the influence in Twin Falls County in 2005, and he has several other alcohol-related misdemeanors on his record. McCabe is set for preliminary hearings on both counts July 1.