Drunk Driving Cases Handled
by Attorney Patrick T. Barone

Case 27:

People vs. M.D.
37th District Court
OUIL

Client’s 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 Court’s 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 Client’s license to practice medicine.

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