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BRATTLEBORO — A man who was cited with driving under the influence, third offense, 16 years ago was sentenced to five to six days in jail on Sept. 27.

“I apologize for leaving the area,” said Warren Keith Ryan. “I did panic. I went to work with my brother out west and I know it was a bad decision. But I panicked and I left the area. I apologize to the state and the court.”

According to Ted Kramer, Ryan’s attorney, his client has stayed on the right side of the law since he left Vermont 16 years ago and has been caring for his elderly parents for many of those years.

“He has arranged for four or five care providers to take care of his parents while he’s here doing his time,” said Kramer. “He has a mother who’s 84. He’s got a father who’s 92. He feels badly about what he’s done and he’s coming back to take accountability and hopefully your honor will accept this plea agreement.”

In the past 16 years, Ryan told Windham Superior Court Judge Michael Kainen, he has since had only one infraction, and that was for driving without a license.

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“And I’ve taken care of that,” said Ryan.

If Ryan had stayed in the state he probably would have received an 18 month to three year sentence, all suspended except for five to six days to serve and with two to three years of probation to follow, said Kainen.

“It seems to me that you’ve effectively self-rehabilitated,” said Kainen. “It seems as though it would be pointless to hang a sentence over your head and put you on probation when you’ve already accomplished what we would hope you would on probation.”

Kramer also noted that at the time of the traffic stop in Saxtons River in 2006, his client tested at just over .08 BAC. A second test showed a BAC of just under .08 percent.

Bob Audette can be contacted at raudette@reformer.com.