DWI HIT PARADE: Another Failure of Delaware’s Judges to protect the public; James Betts charged with 4th DUI after sending four people to trauma unit following a head-on crash

DWI HIT PARADE: Another Failure of Delaware’s Judges to protect the public; James Betts charged with 4th DUI after sending four people to trauma unit following a head-on crash

SEAFORD, DEL.– There is little doubt that the lenient Judges in Delaware are more concerned about the excuses and whines of drunk and drugged drivers than they are about the bleeding and dying of the general public.

The Delaware State Police have arrested a Seaford man for his 4th offense DUI and multiple counts of Vehicular Assault after he was involved in a crash.

Police say that James E. Betts, 50, of Seaford, Delaware, has now been charged following his stay at a hospital.

The crash that injured Betts and his three victims in another vehicle occurred on November 20, 2018, at approximately 9:05 p.m. when Troopers were dispatched to a crash at the intersection of Stein Highway and Neals School Road involving two vehicles.

James E. Betts charged with 4th DUI arrest in Seaford Delaware on Nov. 20, 2018 crash head-on injured three people. DSP

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Police say that a Subaru Forester was traveling eastbound on Stein Highway and entered into the westbound lane striking a Ford Explorer nearly head-on.

Betts was the operator of the Forester and was transported to the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.  Troopers located drug paraphernalia inside of the vehicle.

The operator of the Explorer, a 28-year-old male from Maryland and his 27-year-old female passenger sustained injuries and were transported to the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Two children ages 7 and 5, who were seated in the rear of the vehicle sustained major injuries and were also transported to the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.  The 7-year-old was later transferred to the A.I. DuPont Hospital.

Police say that a computer check revealed that Betts had three previous DUI arrests making this his fourth offense. On November 30, 2018, Betts was charged with the following:

  • 4th Offense Driving a Vehicle Under the Influence
  • Vehicular Assault First Degree (2 counts)
  • Vehicular Assault Second Degree (2 counts)
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Betts was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court 2 and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $13,001.00 secured bond.


On Nov. 2, 1998, James E. Betts pleaded guilty to possession of drugs in a plea deal with the Dorchester County States Attorney in District Court in Salisbury, Md.  Betts was arrested by Natural Resources Police Officer J. Massey on June 24, 1998. THE DEAL: twenty days in jail was suspended, he was put on probation, violated his probation and was jailed on Sept. 21, 2000.

James Edward Betts Jr., of 9891 Middleford Road, Seaford, Del., was arrested on Nov. 13, 1999, for DWI – alcohol or drugs and entered a guilty plea on April 2, 2001, in a plea deal with Wicomico County States Attorney Davis R. Ruark. THE DEAL: 30 days in jail and one year of probation.

Several years later, Ruark, the prosecutor who let Betts slide with an easy plea deal, was himself arrested for DUI in Ocean City, Md. Wicomico County States Attorney Davis Ruark appeared in Ocean City District Court for trial stemming from his February 22, 2008, DUI arrest.

As the result of a plea agreement with Special Prosecutor Thomas M. Degonia, Ruark pleaded guilty to DUI. In exchange for the guilty plea, the charges for handgun violation were dropped.

Retired District Court Judge John Coolahan (Baltimore County) accepted the conditions of the plea agreement and found Ruark Guilty of DUI.

Ruark was fined $500.00 plus court costs and put on unsupervised probation for one year. Ruark surrendered his handgun carry permit and was later allowed to have it reinstated. Ruark was defeated for reelection in the 2010 Democratic Primary and in 2012 moved to New Mexico where he works as a prosecutor.

Related Posts:

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  2. DWI HIT PARADE Sean Michael “Mike” Dunston busted for 5th DWI when he nearly smacked into Delaware trooper’s cruiser

  3. DWI HIT PARADE: Carol Russ busted for 5th DUI after hitting culvert; should lame judges who keep letting her loose be tied to a pillory in the town square?

  4. DWI HIT PARADE Ryan Ott locked up for 5th DWI arrest in Delaware

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