A Windham man was sentenced to six years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to a raft of charges that included his ninth and 10th convictions for operating under the influence of alcohol.

Patrick Murphy, 53, was arrested in April and again in May along the same stretch of Route 302 in Windham. In the first instance, Murphy admitted that on April 8 he twice rammed a car that was carrying a family of four, injuring one of the passengers and nearly running the vehicle off the road.

In the second incident on May 18, witnesses saw Murphy fall down drunk in a convenience store and then stagger to his vehicle and take off down Route 302, nearly striking a gas pump as he departed.

Other motorists reported his erratic driving and when police stopped him, he refused a breath test.

In addition to the OUIs, Murphy had been charged with assault, aggravated assault, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and criminal mischief, among other counts.

The sentence, handed down by Judge Jed French, was less than the 18 years that Assistant District Attorney Brendan O’Brien had requested – two stints of nine years each, to be served consecutively – but more than the 10 years with all but five years suspended that Murphy’s attorney, David Bobrow, suggested.

“There’s no question that he received a serious sentence,” O’Brien said following the hearing. “Anyone thinking about getting to this point in their life, where they have this many OUIs, should be, in light of that, seriously considering whether they want to take the risk and drive after drinking.”

After Murphy serves the six years, he will be on probation for three years. If he violates the terms of his release, he could face an additional five years in prison.

In addition to the prison time, Murphy was fined $2,100 and is prohibited from possessing car keys during his probationary period. French also recommended that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles impose a lifetime suspension of his license, but because of conflicts in state law, Murphy might be eligible to drive again in the future.

Among serial OUI offenders in Maine, more than 5,000 people who have been stopped four or more times for drunken-driving may still be getting behind the wheel, according to a 2013 Maine Sunday Telegram analysis. That number jumps to almost 15,000 for people who have at least three prior cases of operating under the influence, or OUI.

About 724 people have six or more OUI convictions, according to a 2014 tabulation.

Murphy has received numerous suspensions, license revocations and reinstatements since his first OUI in 1986. His most recent suspension occurred May 15, between the two OUI charges, when he was stopped and refused a chemical test.

Before Murphy was sentenced, a letter from one of his victims was read into the record, including details of the shoulder injury the man suffered in the April collision, and the traumatic effect the crash had on his two children who were in the car.

Murphy spoke as well, apologizing for the harm he had caused.

Following the hearing, Bobrow, Murphy’s attorney, said his client believes the sentence was fair.

“He will use his opportunity while he’s incarcerated to engage in significant treatment and deal with his battles with alcoholism and come out and become a productive member of society,” Bobrow said.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MattByrnePPH