by Attorney Patrick T. Barone
People vs. M.D.
37th District Court
Clients vehicle was observed by the arresting officer to be traveling
at a "high rate of speed" (clocked at 100 mph). The vehicle
did not slow down when the officer turned his lights on, and continued
driving even after the siren was activated. The vehicle did stop at a
gas station, where the driver was observed to have blood shot watery eyes
and a moderate odor of intoxicants. The driver admitted drinking two beers.
Nystagmus was observed in both
eyes (all six clues), but the driver was able to complete the finger count.
The breath test produced two results - .09 and 1.0.
We immediately demanded a trial
(at the first pretrial), but ultimately we were able to persuade the prosecutor
to agree to a plea under advisement, later reduced to careless driving.
Prior to the Courts accepting the plea, the client was required
to perform a large number of community service hours.
At sentencing, the Client received
only $700.00 fine/costs, with no other sanctions (no additional community
service, no probation, no alcohol classes, no vehicle immobilization,
and most importantly, no driver license sanctions.
This was a particularly good
result for this Client because the Client was a physician. Consequently,
a conviction for any alcohol related offense, or any misdemeanor for that
matter, would have required that the conviction be disclosed to the State
Board of Medicine. This could have resulted in significant fines being
imposed by them, and even the possible loss of the license to practice
medicine. The careless driving is a civil infraction (like a speeding
ticket), and therefore, carried with it no additional sanctions imposed
against this Clients license to practice medicine.
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