Brunswick County jury convicts man of habitual DWI

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Steven Rouse (Photo: MGN Online)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — In court on Wednesday, a Brunswick County jury convicted Steven Rouse for habitual driving while impaired.

According to the district attorney’s office, Rouse admitted to his habitual felon status and was sentenced by Judge G. Frank Jones to serve at least 11 years in prison.

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Rouse is currently serving a 26-41 month sentence in prison for habitual DWI out of New Hanover County. He will serve his sentence on the new conviction after serving the 26-41 months.

On November 29, 2019, the release states Rouse wrecked his truck into a ditch on Mill Creek Road in Bolivia. A witness quickly responded to the crash and saw Rouse in the driver’s seat of the truck. Rouse left the scene and walked down the road and into the woods.

The K9 Unit with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office responded and was able to track and locate Rouse hiding in the woods behind a bush. Trooper Ballard with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol conducted a Driving While Impaired investigation and determined Rouse to be impaired by alcohol. Trooper Ballard obtained blood from Rouse and sent it to the North Carolina State Crime Lab, which returned a blood alcohol concentration of .22.

“Thank you to our law enforcement partners at the North Carolina State Highway Patrol
the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office for working together to investigate this case and to apprehend Mr. Rouse. Our office takes very seriously those who repeatedly drive on the streets of this community while subject to an impairing substance” Assistant District Attorney Shirley Smircic, who prosecuted the case, said.

“We are very encouraged that our courts are beginning to open back up and we are starting to have more jury trials. The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has been instrumental in our ability to involve the community in bigger cases. We are prioritizing cases involving violent criminals, habitual offenders, and defendants in custody” District Attorney Jon David said.