A woman who was charged with 17 DUIs recently entered a guilty plea for DUI 1st, according to court documents.

"It's upsetting, like it actually made me cry because I don't see how anybody could be so selfish," said Emily Boyt who suffered two facial fractures after being hit by a drunk driver in Shelbyville. 

The drunk driver who hit Boyt was Dorothy Hanson, a convicted habitual offender.

In fact this crash was her 17th DUI. 

Police and the Department of Safety were all aware of Hanson's history.

"Her license has actually been revoked since 1987," said Megan Buell, the director of communications for the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

in February, Hanson pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, habitual motor offender violation, and DUI 1st.

"I don't understand why you can have 17 convictions, be convicted as a habitual offender, not once, not twice, but according to this record, it's noted as a habitual offender on four different occasions. How do you get a DUI 1st," said Phaedra Creed with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

News4 learned Tennessee state law says when it comes to counting DUI's, prosecutors can only go back 10 years.

Hanson's last DUI, her 16th, happened in 2001.

The district attorney said they wish they could have charged Hanson with something more serious, but the law won’t allow.

Meanwhile, the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving said that law needs to change.

"Our system is failing the state of Tennessee. It's our system that is failing the citizens of this state," said Creed.

At the time of the crash, Hanson told News4 she was sorry.

Hanson will have to serve a 5-1/2-year sentence. She's eligible for parole after serving 45 percent of it.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.



Carley Gordon joined the News4 team as a reporter in 2009.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.