A Houston man convicted of drunken driving nine times since 1980 has been sentenced to life in prison.

The Montgomery County judge who sentenced Donald Middleton on Tuesday 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 say 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 say Middleton has already served four prison terms for alcohol-related convictions.