SALISBURY — A Berlin man arrested on drunk driving charges for the eighth time last June was found guilty again this week in Wicomico County Circuit Court and was sentenced to an additional three years, bring his net total to eight years for prior convictions.
On Monday, James David Nibblett, Jr., 48, of Berlin, appeared in Wicomico County Circuit Court to face one count of driving under the influence of alcohol as a subsequent offender and was sentenced to an additional three years, with all but one suspended. The judge sentenced Nibblett to the maximum sentence allowed under state law for a subsequent offender.
The most recent sentence for Nibblett comes on the heels of his two most prior convictions and will be served consecutive to the sentences imposed in those cases. On Oct. 19, Nibblett appeared for a separate driving under the influence arrest and was sentenced to two years in jail. Less than a week later, Nibblett appeared for yet another drunk-driving arrest and was sentenced in that case to three years.
Nibblett’s conviction and sentence on Monday represented his fourth, fifth and sixth convictions in Wicomico County alone. He has also been arrested several times in Worcester County in and around Ocean City and West Ocean City over the years on drunk-driving related charges and his total number of convictions now stands at eight.
The incident for which Nibblett was sentenced on Monday occurred in June. Around 3 a.m. on June 17, 2012, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported motor vehicle accident involving injuries in the area of Route 50 and Walston Switch Rd. The investigation revealed the victim and her four passengers were stopped at a red light on eastbound Route 50 when a 2002 Ford Explorer, driven by Nibblett, failed to stop and struck the victim’s vehicle from behind. The victims suffered various minor injuries, but refused medical treatment and none were transported to the hospital. For his previous and pending arrests, Nibblett was required to have an ignition interlock device on his vehicle, but there was no such device on the Ford Explorer he was driving last June.
Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello said this week he hoped Nibblett’s combined eight-year sentence would send a message.
“The eight-year sentence received by this defendant, which includes four years of active time in the department of corrections, is a strong message to repeat offenders that driving under influence and driving impaired will not be tolerated in Wicomico County,” he said.