A Midway man who allegedly critically injured another driver while driving under the influence Monday night had been charged with DUI twice before during the past four years, court records show.
Lexington police charged Thomas Clifton Wright, 47, with first- and second-degree assault, driving under the influence and possession of marijuana after his 2006 Jeep Cherokee crossed the center line on Leestown Road on Monday, colliding head-on with a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle driven by Samantha Arnold of Georgetown. Arnold was taken to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital and was listed in critical condition Thursday. Wright and an unnamed passenger in Arnold's car also were taken to UK hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Wright was booked into the Fayette County Detention Center on Thursday, according to the jail's Web site. He was being held under a $17,600 full-cash bond.
Wright was charged in December 2007 in Woodford County with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, careless driving and other charges.
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According to court records, police pulled Wright over after seeing him driving erratically on Kingsway Drive in Versailles. Wright pleaded guilty to the DUI first offense and other charges, paid a total of $873 in fines and had his license suspended for 45 days. He also completed alcohol counseling.
In July 2008, in Franklin County, Wright was arrested after he drove through a traffic safety check point at Duckers Lane and U.S. 421. He was charged with driving under the influence second offense, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and failure to wear a seat belt.
According to court records, Wright pleaded guilty to DUI first offense after the charge was amended from DUI second offense, which carries stiffer penalties, including suspension of a driver's license for 12 to 18 months.
Franklin Circuit Court records show that Wright's license was suspended for 120 days. He served seven days of a 30-day sentence. The remaining 23 days were suspended on the condition Wright have no alcohol-related charges for 24 months after February 2009. He also paid a fine of $818 and was sentenced to drug and alcohol counseling.
Wright was arrested in August 2009 in Woodford County and charged with speeding, possession of marijuana and possession of an open alcoholic beverage.
Versailles police saw Wright tailgating another vehicle on Interstate 64 and pulled him over for speeding. Police said Wright had bloodshot eyes and smelled of marijuana, but his blood-alcohol level was 0.07, which is less than the legal limit of 0.08. Wright paid $348 in fines and served no jail time.