By Ryan Hill

MODESTO (CBS13) — A man who already had nine other DUI arrests was again arrested under suspicion of drunk driving near Modesto, authorities say.

California Highway Patrol says, back on Jan. 29, an officer spotted an SUV speeding eastbound along Highway 219 near Tully Road. The officer was able to pull over the vehicle after it merged onto Highway 108.

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Brandon Lee Howey, 40, was driving the SUV. Officers noted some objective signs of intoxication and had him do a series of field sobriety tests.

Howey was soon arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. CHP says Howey had nine other prior DUI convictions since 2005.

“It’s a lot. We don’t see that a lot. That’s an incredible amount of DUIs.” Richard Meyer, a Modesto criminal defense attorney, said.

Howey has been booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center jail and is facing felony DUI and misdemeanor driving under a suspended license, open container in a motor vehicle and willful disobedience of a court order charges.

“This wasn’t a holding cell where you sobered up and went home. This individual has served time behind bars and still, once they got out, still chose to drive DUI out there on the roadways endangering the public,” Officer Tom Olsen, CHP Modesto, said.

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CHP says the arrest is part of an effort to increase enforcement patrols along more rural roads and highways in the Modesto area. Stanislaus County court records show Howey’s latest conviction was in January 2018. He was sentenced to 16 months but, with time already served he spent 173 days in jail.

Meyer told CBS13 even those someone has a suspended license it doesn’t stop them from getting behind the wheel and driving intoxicated.

“If they want to drink and drive, I don’t know how you stop them just short of confining them in perpetuity which in my opinion is an unreasonable punishment,” Meyer said.

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He told CBS13 the courts are doing what they can with the laws and statutes that are at their disposal. Meyer feels there’s a bigger problem that needs fixing so more drivers aren’t racking up convictions like Howey.

“The statutes punish and you can keep getting punished and you can do your time and pay your debt to society,” Meyer said. “But, if the addiction is not addressed right? The chances are you’re going to see something like this.”

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CHP and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office told CBS13 that Howey has since bailed out of jail.