Prison time ordered for habitual offender

Two years and 10 months in state prison for driving under the influence.

That is the sentence 12th Circuit Judge Charles Sniffin meted out Oct. 16 for Thomas Behlendorf, 70, after the Bradenton man pleaded no contest on DUI and driving with a permanently revoked driver’s license.

Sniffin found Behlendorf guilty on both counts.

The judge also sentenced Behlendorf to an 18-month probation, including weekly AA or Narcotics Anonymous meetings after serving in state prison. Sniffin ordered a lifetime revocation of his driver’s license.

The case goes back to when a Holmes Beach police officer found Behlendorf driving after dark in December 2017 without using his vehicle’s headlights. He was arrested in a parking lot in the 3600 block of East Bay Drive and failed DUI tests.

Behlendorf had been convicted of driving under the influence in May 2015 in Manatee County and in Sarasota County in June 2016. He was declared a habitual offender and his license was permanently revoked, according to court records.

As part of the Holmes Beach arrest case, Sniffin agreed to allow a transfer of Behlendorf’s probation to Illinois within seven days his release from prison.

His 34-month sentence will run concurrent to a DUI case stemming from an October 2017 Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrest.

He was assessed more than $5,000 in fines and court costs.