December 23, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

A speeding motorist who had a blood alcohol level of .18 when he crashed into another motorist on Highway 82 has been sentenced to 24 months in jail.

William Norton, 39, was sentenced Friday by Union County Circuit Judge Phil Mendiguren after his conviction on a charge of third-degree assault. He was also convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Court records indicated that Norton was speeding down Hunter Lane on Nov. 21 when he struck a concrete divider, failed to stop at a stop sign at Highway 82 while driving between 45 mph and 65 mph, and then struck the victims car.

There were no serious physical injuries to the driver or her two children although the woman was treated for minor cuts and bruises. The womans vehicle was totaled, said Union County District Attorney Russ West.

The legal alcohol blood level for driving in Oregon is .08.

At the time of the crash, Norton was on parole, which included a requirement that he have no alcohol.

For violating his parole, he likely will receive an additional six months more probation, West said.

For the felony assault conviction, Norton will be in the custody of the Union County Correctional Facility for 24 months, followed by two years of post-prison supervision, court documents stated. The DUII sentence of 180 days was suspended.

Norton was on post-prison supervision for an original conviction of arson, burglary and theft and was on an alcohol diversion program following a previous DUII conviction.