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A Fort Wayne woman was arrested after her SUV rolled over the interstate. She had her two children inside the car with her. When police administered a chemical test at the hospital, the woman posted a historic .38% blood alcohol content, which is over four times the legal limit.
This woman has pleaded guilty to two counts of neglect of a dependent and one count of OWI. She did not receive a plea agreement in exchange for her guilty plea. Neither of her children (aged 6 and 9) was seriously injured.
The police said that the woman was failing to maintain a lane and that eventually she lost control of the vehicle, and it came to a stop after crashing into a concrete median. While Adams is facing over seven years in prison, her case was remanded to the Allen County drug court, where she could avoid prison time by meeting certain treatment goals.
Drug courts are based on cooperative models of administering justice. In this case, since there were no victims of the driver’s actions, the court saw fit to extend the driver a chance to avoid real prison time. That does not mean there will not be consequences elsewhere.
Those whose cases are accepted by the drug court are given a contract to sign. Their criminal case is suspended while their case is active in drug court. During this time, they will be expected to remain clean and sober, get psychiatric help for their addiction, go to meetings, maintain their treatment plan, and stay out of any other trouble. Supposing they do this throughout the duration of their contract, they will avoid prison time. If they fail to meet the conditions of their adjudication, their case will be remanded back to the criminal court for sentencing.
Typically, it can be fairly difficult to avoid jail time when the police catch you driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Typical jail stays last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Prison time is another story. Those charged with felonies like the driver mentioned above can face substantial time in prison if there are enough aggravating factors to warrant more severe penalties. In this case, there were two aggravating factors. First, her BAC was so high that it was a miracle that the woman was still alive. Second, there were children in the vehicle when she was trying to drive. These are two factors that tend to influence the court in a negative way.
One mitigating factor is that no one was injured in the crash. Had either of her children sustained broken bones or required medical treatment, the court would have likely been more severe during sentencing. Instead, this woman will get a chance to clean up her life and move forward.
If you have been charged with DUI, exercise your right to remain silent and call The Bellinger Law Office immediately. We can help.
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