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Judge gives drunken driver a dressing down

LOCKPORT – State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. chewed out a four-time drunken driver Friday before placing him on probation – for the good of his family, Kloch said.

Curtis D. Klebs, 44, of Lower River Road, Lewiston, will serve 16 weekends in jail in addition to five years’ probation and $1,605 in fines and fees. The sentence begins next Friday, which is Halloween.

“Why shouldn’t it be Halloween? You’re the scariest thing I’ve seen,” Kloch shouted at Klebs. The judge also marveled that the town justices in Lewiston and the Town of Niagara who handled Klebs’ three previous DWIs gave him two conditional discharges and a suspended sentence.

Klebs was arrested April 11 after driving to a grocery store in Lewiston, despite lacking a driver’s license, and buying a six-pack of beer. He drank three beers on the bleachers at nearby Academy Park and opened a fourth before getting in the car and being pulled over. He refused the breath test – “because you’re a pro now,” Kloch told him.

Kloch said that if Klebs went to prison, he’d lose his job, and his wife and daughter would lose their health insurance and probably their home. Also, the judge said, Klebs’ wife probably would dump him. “I care more about your daughter and your wife than you do,” the judge said.