NEWPORT, Minn. (WCCO) — A 55-year-old man will spend a year in jail after pleading guilty to his 18th DWI on Wednesday in Washington County District Court.

Paul David Garay pleaded guilty to one gross misdemeanor charge and had two other charges, also gross misdemeanors, dropped in connection with a Christmas Eve 2010  incident where he drove drunk and lost control of his car, ending up in a ditch near Interstate 494 and Hwy. 61 in Newport.

According to a criminal complaint, Garay had a blood alcohol concentration of about twice the legal limit at the time of the incident. He also had a valid driver’s license despite 17 prior DWI convictions, according to court documents.

He was sentenced to a year in jail with credit for 316 days served in the Washington County Jail.

Comments (69)
  1. Jeffery Gauss says:

    When he murders someone behind the wheel they’ll put him away for 3 years! Maybe it will be your loved on that dies next time this moron drives drunk!

  2. Carol says:

    As someone who was hit by a drunk driver at 7 in the morning a year isn’t nearly enough!

  3. swerver says:

    This guys a hero he had a license after 17dwi’s, some kind of legend

  4. Hardrada says:

    Wow, an entire year, seems a little overboard considering the guy only had 18 DWI arrests.

    What did get for number 17, a stern lecture?

  5. Ezra Gonzalez says:

    Does he live in a cardboard box and use every cent of his paycheck to pay car insurance; who the heck would be willing to insure someone with that many dee-wees.

  6. Pate says:

    Juat slap his hand and give him a drink.This is so stupid!

  7. JamieinMN says:

    really? ONE year?!?!?!?! Bullhonky.

  8. Madros-Eden Prairie says:

    If he killed someone the penalty would be two years.

  9. I need a drink says:

    And he already has credit for 316 days served, so his sentence is actually 36 days

    1. JAS says:

      “Ezra Gonzalez

      Does he live in a cardboard box and use every cent of his paycheck to pay car insurance; who the heck would be willing to insure someone with that many dee-wees.”

      I am sure you are posting that tongue-in-cheek, I am sure that he did NOT have insurance.


      This guys a hero he had a license after 17dwi’s, some kind of legend.”

      Did it say that he had a license? I really doubt that he did, but I suppose it is possible.

      “I need a drink

      And he already has credit for 316 days served, so his sentence is actually 36 days.”

      Umm, if he has/had 316 days credit, he would be released immediate;y, since in Minnesota you normally get 1/3 off for good behavior for any sentence 10 days or more.

      1. swerver says:

        if you can read it said he had a license, who comments and doesnt read the article 1st

      2. bluefaery says:

        it says he got arrested on Christmas Eve 2010 … then he already got his 1/3 good time credit … count it out 31 days in January, 28, 31, 30 … I can only count about 130 which sounds like serve a day get a day but what do i know …

      3. amazedbutnotsurprised says:

        yes the article said he had a valid drivers license, and I thought the same thing about the insurance but you are probably right he probably didn’t have any. I can’t believe he got only 1 year, I hope that when he gets out and does this again based on the past he will do this again, I hope the person he kills or hurts is someone from the judge’s family and not someone from mine. Wake up politicians and start making stiffer laws for dwi’s there is no excuse for drinking and driving,

        1. eastside_evil says:

          You’re hoping the judge’s family is next? That’s nice. As if the judge could have sentenced him to 40 years and decided not to, right?

  10. Whahaha says:

    Seriously? Let’s chain him to a bike with training wheels before he kills someone!

    This is ridiculous!

  11. nun ya says:

    must have a hell of a lawyer. I got 6 months for my second. but i agree with you all. how this guy continues to get his licence back. i’m stuck to public transit and a bicycle. but screw DUI law, lets see how society likes it when half the drivers on the road have no licence and no insurance. That way when they get in a traffic accident they flee. I guess thats better!

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      Statistically, most that flee actually do get away.

  12. joe d says:

    Credit for 316 days served? Dec. 2010 to May 3, 2011 is – –

  13. L says:

    Wow! Shows a person how well our system ISN’T working, geesh!

  14. Romericus J Sims says:


    1. bluefaery says:

      stupid yes … you better thank some higher power that you didn’t kill someone idiot

    2. johnny says:

      Get a lawyer next time, I got 2. It cost me lots of $$$ but no jail time. Hopefully next time I can hit and kill bluefaery



  15. good idea says:

    yes, let drink and drive and maybe kill all these loser hahahaha

  16. Get a life says:

    You must have been born a crack baby!!

  17. riz says:

    smoking is a crime but alcohol is advertiesed on tv, ect like crazy…
    such stupid laws…

    1. eastside_evil says:

      No, smoking is not a crime, first of all.

      Secondly, Alcohol is advertised on tv “like crazy?”

      Not sure what channels you’re watching, but I say you’re totally wrong on everything you posted.

  18. michellefrommadison says:

    Justice in motion. 🙂

  19. Mills says:

    Get a DWI get a slap on the wrist. Try and drink responsibly under the age of 21 and get screwed. Where are the priorities?

  20. Michael Clark says:

    What a loser

  21. Sarah says:

    Time for 3 strikes your out.

  22. Sad says:

    He should have gotten one year for each DWI. 18 yrs.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      But, that’s not how our system of criminal justice works in this country.

  23. 56001 says:

    only one year? This idiot needs to be locked up for much longer than that!! He obviously hasn’t learned his lesson yet. Give him 10 years of hard labor at 15 cents an hour at least.

  24. Vicki says:

    Who is the judge overseeing this case? There are obvious personnel changes needed at the Washington Country Courthouse!

    1. eastside_evil says:

      Judges do not create sentencing guidelines. You know that right? Wait, it appears you don’t.

      Get a clue, Vicki. For your own sake.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      None of that other stuff is necessarily relevant to his driving or abilities to drive.

  25. Boozers and Losers says:

    More wonderful proof of the merits of alcohol
    More wonderful proof that the MN judicial system in flawed
    More wonderful proof that some deserved to be chained to a tree for the rest of their pathetic lives
    More wonderful proof that cracks not tby any means the biggest chemical issue this country has …… not even close.
    Chicago Lake Liquer has some Mothers Day specials. Hurry on in

  26. justice fleeting says:

    Why is this ass still driving. Washington County Courts need a swift kick in the rear.

  27. X says:

    This gentleman looks like a body double for Jimmy Hoffa.
    Are you sure that Jimmy is buried under Giant Stadium?

  28. Hmm says:

    The punishment fits the crime. Oh wait.

  29. me says:

    so you get 1.5 DWI/month… stupid

    1. 56001 says:

      Look at his rap sheet at the link I posted above, it wasn’t 18 in one year. Where did you get that idea??

  30. michellefrommadison says:

    Maybe he can be a spokesperson for the alcohol industry doing sales commercials, plus, doesn’t appear he ever injured anyone.

  31. 1fortheroadBARTENDER says:

    Heading to bar for breakfast now its 9am ah the good life, i can already taste the booze. yes i have a home and family, but its my day off i can do as i please its called america, didnt a methhead just kill a wife and baby in st cloud 2 weeks ago, these are risks you take when you drive, drinkers,texters, talkers, radio changers, drug addicts, risk you take or stay home til you die. It will not change

  32. NA says:

    18 DWI’s = 1yr THATS BS!!!!

  33. Bob says:

    BOY, that guy sure looks like Jimmy Hoffa. Coincidence? Except Jimmy did not drink!

  34. flanders says:

    What a loser.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      One year in jail for 18 DUI’s? Looks like a winner to me, not like a loser as you claim. 🙂

  35. Blown Away says:

    This is BS, I have a family member who has their 4th and has been clean and sober for almost 2 years and the fourth was a felony. They were told everyone thereafter would be a felony…..what the hell is this guy doing that he gets special treatment!!! My family member has 7 years hanging over their head if they mess up and they blew a .09 when the legal limit was .08. The last one they got was a .09 as well. The system is F’d up!!!!!

    1. eastside_evil says:

      Your family member may want to consider not drinking and driving anymore. He or she quite obviously has a problem they may need to get addressed, don’t you think? Or do you think getting 4 DWIs is ok because he was barely over the limit?

  36. mom of four says:

    We have a lovely, fair justice system in Minnesota…NOT!!!! Now had he killed someone maybe the judge that let him go the last 17 times should be the one facing charges along with him.

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      Why would you say we have a lovely, fair justice system when we don’t? Don’t facts matter to you?

      Obviously not the case. 😦

  37. Greg says:

    And we should have just CAPTURED Obama and left it to this mentality of our justice system??

  38. 1PissedOffLady says:

    This makes me so mad I could spit! My husband was killed by a drunk driver in 2003. The penalities for drinking and driving are not stiff enough in any state. Espcially after getting 18 DWIs! I though after 3 DWIs in 5 years they are suppose to be a felony?

  39. HooDatIS? says:

    i wanna slap the hell out of the judge and the liquor out of this looser
    18th time?
    man the judege wants our roadways to be safe
    give him the needle

    1. michellefrommadison says:

      A loser? Clearly he’s winning. 🙂

      1. captainobvious says:

        Michelle clearly u should be charged with overeating, your obviously a grotesquie goblin, eat away lonly sweathog, at least if he hit u walking he’d have died like hitting a 30point buck

    2. eastside_evil says:

      It isn’t the judge’s fault, you dipstick.

  40. Ron says:

    I had a nephew who was hit and killed by 2 different hit and run drivers that were both drunk last year in Sioux Falls. It was their 3rd DWI for each of them and they only received 3 years in prison. 3 years for killing my nephew who was walking along the grass next to a road without a sidewalk. This guy had a minimum of 18 chances to kill people and luckily has not. We simply need stricter laws for drunk driving and other associated manslaughter charges.

    1. successNOT says:

      Wow ur nephew was killed twice? that amazing. so 2 random drivers drove off the road at the same time and hit him

  41. michellefrommadison says:

    18 times and he never hurt anyone, he almost deserves an award. 🙂

  42. L says:

    probably doesnt have a valid drivers license, doesnt carry insurance. and not drunk enough to kill himself behind the wheel. this is just awful and why is he allowed to continue? i hope he goes through horrible withdrawls in jail and they let him suffer.

  43. Shari says:

    Who did he have as a lawyer?? Perry Mason???

  44. Artist36 says:

    What a joke!!! 19 years ago I got ONE DWI. Besides a ton of fines and many years of outrageous insurance rates, I did almost a year in jail/ work release! Are we getting soft, or was his lawyer just that good? Maybe he was just related to the judge!

    1. captainobvious says:

      Theres 0% chance u got a standard dwi and got close to 1 year, end of story, and you know it. they were even softer then

  45. Dave L says:

    I wouldn’t want to be the judge who slapped him on the wrist like this when the 19th one kills a pedestrian or another innocent driver. Don’t give us the b.s. about the judge just following guidelines in the book – as a judge you can depart upward for such a danger to society.

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