A Houston man convicted of drunken driving nine times since 1980 was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday.

The Montgomery County judge who sentenced Donald Middleton said the 56-year-old man is a habitual offender.

Middleton pleaded guilty last week to driving drunk in a May 2015 traffic accident.

Investigators said Middleton was arrested after he fled on foot after the wreck, ran to a store and begged the clerks not to turn him in.

Prosecutors said Middleton has already served four prison terms for alcohol-related convictions.