August 2, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
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A year in jail for drunken driver who crashed car

MEDINA — A judge sent a 54-year-old Elyria man to the Medina County Jail for a year after he was convicted of crashing his car while drunk.

It was at least Mark S. McCraw’s fifth drunken driving conviction in two decades.

Mark McCraw

A jury found McCraw guilty in November on two charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fourth- and fifth-degree felonies. He faced up to 1½ years in prison.

He was accused of lying to police about crashing his vehicle on Ridge Road in Sharon Township in April.

“It’s obvious to everyone in this room that Mark’s an alcoholic,” said McCraw’s attorney, Paul Cushion II.

“I don’t think it’s obvious to everyone,” Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler said. “I don’t think it’s obvious to your client.”

“No, your honor,” McCraw said. “It is.”

Cushion said McCraw has started to address his alcoholism, including attending Alcoholics Anonymous sessions while in jail. He said McCraw never wants to drink alcohol again.

Kimbler said he would review McCraw’s progress at six and nine months to see whether early release is appropriate.

Kimbler ordered McCraw to attend more alcohol treatment, suspended his driver’s license for 10 years and banned him from using alcohol. McCraw will be placed on two years’ probation after his release from jail.

According to court documents, McCraw was arrested April 1 after county sheriff’s deputies responded to a single-car crash in a ditch just before 6 p.m. The vehicle belonged to McCraw, but he was not with the car.

Witnesses told deputies that a man with a dog crashed the vehicle and left.

Deputies reported they found McCraw walking a dog about a quarter-mile from the crash on Wolf Creek Drive. They suspected McCraw was drunk.

McCraw told deputies his vehicle was stolen and he was walking from Wadsworth to Elyria.

Deputies arrested McCraw.

In court Thursday, McCraw admitted he was driving the car.

“I’m very sorry for my relapse,” McCraw told the judge. “I made a bad decision and I admit that I was wrong.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.