Brad Lee Heflin of Gulfport, MS, pled guilty to Fourth Offense Felony Driving Under the Influence (DUI) before Mississippi Second District Circuit Court Judge Christopher Schmidt. Once Judge Schmidt accepted his plea, Heflin received a sentence of six years to serve day for day as a habitual offender.
Heflin was originally arrested by the Gulfport Police Department on November 4, 2016, at 8pm. As Officers were in the area of Courthouse Road and Pass Road when they observed the defendant pull out in front of a vehicle in a careless manner. The officers were outside of their vehicle at the time of the observation and lost sight of the defendant for a short period. The same officers received a complaint of a vehicle being operated in a careless manner on 31st street, just south of the initial contact. When the officers responded to the area, they made contact with the defendant, as he was parking and exiting his vehicle at his home. Upon contact, Officers could immediately smell alcohol on the defendant’s breath and noticed he was unsteady on his feet. A bottle of Fireball whiskey was also observed on the passenger seat and an Officer who specialized in DUI enforcement responded to the scene. Heflin provided a breath sample which was positive for alcohol. Heflin also underwent field sobriety tests which were indicative of someone impaired from alcohol. “Once the defendant was arrested for DUI, a search warrant was secured and his blood was drawn to determine the alcohol content. The sample was tested by the Mississippi Crime Lab and it was determined that Heflin’s blood alcohol level was .22% well above the .08% illegal limit,” said Assistant District Attorney Mitch Owen, who prosecuted the case.
Investigators determined that Heflin had previously been convicted of at least four prior DUI offenses in his lifetime. Ultimately it was determined that this was Heflin’s fifth DUI offense, Heflin’s charge was upgraded to a felony. This conviction was pursuant to a law enacted by the Mississippi Legislature in October of 2016 that makes it a felony to have four or more DUI convictions in a lifetime. This was Heflin’s fourth felony conviction. Heflin had a prior Felony DUI, Burglary and Burglary of a Dwelling conviction.