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Do the Laws Concerning Drinking and Driving Help or Hurt People Who Have Legitimate Medical Issues?

I have seen one person who was not my client.  He never learned his lesson and he drank and drove and went to jail and got out and drank and drove again and went to jail again and got out and then went back to prison.  He got out and went back to prison longer and got out and the last time he was in court, he ended up with a sentence of 30 years in prison.

All this man ever did was drink and drive.  He never hurt anyone.  He just kept doing it and he would never learn his lesson.  I think you could easily say the majority of his life is going to be spent in prison.  It’s sad.

There are alcoholics out there and the law does not punish alcoholics.  The law punishes people who decide to get behind the wheel and drive after consuming alcohol.  What are becoming more common are the people who are simply taking prescription medications.  These are people with medical issues.

These may be people with maybe some mental health issues, but if their medication can impair them in any way, they potentially face the same problems. They are going to jail and getting out and they can’t stop taking their medication just because they go to jail.  They are not suddenly cured of their medical ailments.

People that are taking their medications need to be concerned when they are driving. They need to ask, do they feel impaired?  Are they going to end up doing 30 years in prison simply because they have a medical ailment, but they cannot stop taking this impairing medication and driving?

There Are People That Cannot Avoid Multiple DUIs until They Receive the Appropriate Medical Treatment

Interviewer: Once they pass that second DUI offense mark, is it common for someone to keep collecting these DUIs?

Brian: Some people learn their lessons right away.  The people that have the most difficulty are the ones that drink out of depression.  It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy where they’re depressed.  They drink.  They get a DUI.  They are then depressed about the DUI.  They then drink more and then they drive more and then they get another DUI.  Then they continue to be depressed and drink some more and drive some more and then they get another DUI.

I was just talking to a fellow lawyer in the community today about someone in that exact situation. Within about a month they got three DUIs.  Unfortunately, with that person, I believe it’s turning out to be three separate felony offenses. That person very likely is not going to get the benefit of being treated as a first time offender.

If that person goes to trial and loses, the presumptive sentence that they’re looking at on the first one is technically two and a half years in prison.  The presumptive sentence on the second one is four and a half years in prison, and the presumptive sentence on the third one is ten years in prison.  Right there, if a person got consecutive presumptive sentences, they’re looking at 17 years in prison so for one month’s worth of mistakes.

What Can You Do to Help Your Situation if You Have Multiple DUI Charges?

Interviewer: If anything, once they pass that second conviction, what if anything, can someone do to improve their case?

It Is Advisable to Voluntarily Seek Counseling and Treatment

Brian: I think that people who take responsibility for their action and get themselves into counseling right away are really doing themselves a favor.  I think it’s doing them a favor personally. I think they are doing themselves a favor as far as letting the defense attorney provide that sort of information to the prosecutor and possibly work out a better plea agreement.

Again, the first time DUI is supposed to be the slap on the wrist.  It is for people to learn their lesson.  But that is for your average, everyday person.  It is for people who just spent a little bit too much time drinking with their dinner or going to a bar, and made the mistake of getting behind the wheel.  I definitely think that people that get themselves into counseling put themselves in a better position for their life and for their case.

The same can be true with people get a second offense.  By the time that they are charged with a second offense, likely they have already gone through the counseling that was required under a first offense. They went through all the punishment, but they didn’t learn their lesson.  It can still be helpful to go into counseling.  It may or may not help the case, but they should do it for themselves.

By: Brian Douglas Sloan

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Why Brian Douglas Sloan?
AZ DUI Defense Lawyer Brian Douglas Sloan
  • 16+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense
  • Represented 3,700+ DUI Clients
    • Regular DUI
    • Extreme DUI
    • Super Extreme DUI
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  • Top One Percent in the Nation"
    National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • “Top 10 DUI Lawyers in Arizona”
    National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • “10 Best Client Satisfaction Award”
    American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
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  • Preeminent “4.9 / 5.0” -- Martindale-Hubbell
  • “Southwest Rising Star” -- Super Lawyers
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