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Man pleads guilty to drunken driving

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- A man who's been slipping through the cracks of North Carolina's legal system for more than 20 years pleaded guilty Tuesday to drunken driving. John Dickinson has used at least six different identities with law enforcement and has failed to appear in court at least 10 times. But Tuesday he was forced to show up. Records show that Dickinson has been charged with driving while impaired more than 30 times since the 1980s. When he's caught, he uses a different name. At one Tuesday morning police found him at a friend's house in Wilmington and brought him to the New Hanover County jail. Tuesday officers escorted him to the Pender County courthouse to face a DWI charge from 2006. But he also faces four counts of DWI in New Hanover County and two felony counts of identity theft. Dickinson pleaded guilty and then his lawyer gave notice of appeal to the superior court. Robert K. Hunoval is Dickinson's lawyer. Hunoval said, "There's a possibility you may have conflicting judgments or the sentences may not get worked out the way they should." Hunoval wants a change of venue to cover all the charges. Dickinson is on his way back to the New Hanover County jail on a $500,000 bond. Prosecutors say it wouldn't have taken this many years to get Dickinson if they would have had his fingerprints on file. There's a push in the senate to make people charged with drunk driving have their fingerprints taken.

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