LINO LAKES, Minn. (KMSP) - A man arrested for 3rd degree DWI had previously served 15 years in jail for killing three people while driving drunk in Hawaii, according to the Lino Lakes Police Department.
James Hoffoss was arrested Saturday and booked into the Anoka County jail after tests showed he had a BAC of .18.
When Lino Lakes Police checked Hoffoss' criminal history it showed he had recently changed his name from James Steinseifer to James Hoffoss.
James Steinseifer pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 1997 for a crash in Hawaii that killed sisters Nicole Nuuanu-Dudoit, 22, and Carina Nuuanu, 24, and their 1-year-old niece Laakea Nuuanu. Steinseifer was sentenced to 20 years in prison under a new law that doubled the sentence for that crime from 10 to 20 years. At the time, it was the toughest sentence ever imposed in the state of Hawaii on a drunken driver.
Prosecutors pushed for a life sentence, but the Nuuanu family told the court that 20 years was enough.
"The family didn't believe in their hearts that another life should be wasted," their attorney told a local newspaper.
Steinseifer was "a model inmate" at prisons in 3 states, led alcohol recovery groups and counseled young people to avoid the mistakes he made.