Many people have been caught drinking and driving. Most learn from their mistakes and try to be more careful in the future. One man from Salem, a little over an hour from Attleboro, Massachusetts, was recently convicted of drunk driving. But it wasn't his first offense, or his second or his third. The man had been convicted of eight DUI offense, his last one being in May 2012.
Since that time, the 54-year-old man has been in denial about his drunkenness, which led to an accident that resulted in minor injuries to a mother and daughter in the other vehicle. The man had crashed into the car on Route 128, pushing it 150 yards down the highway. Although the victims were covered in shattered glass, they received only minor cuts.
The man, however, has been remorseful about the accident and admitted that he had an alcohol problem. He vowed to never drink again and asked the court to determine the number of former DUI convictions that could be used against him. Despite his remorse and pleas, the man was fined $2,000 and sentenced to up to five years in prison. According to Massachusetts law, the limit for prison time is five years, no matter how many times a person has been convicted of DUI offenses.
The man attempted to challenge one of his convictions, but the judge denied his request because even if it was taken off his record, he would still have at least four previous convictions. The man has been in police custody since the Memorial weekend 2012 conviction and still has three more years before he can seek parole.
Those accused of drinking and driving are innocent until proven guilty, as there are many defenses for those facing DUI charges. For example, the man in this case had a long gap between his last two DUI offenses. A lawyer may try to use this to a client's advantage to show that he was not a habitual drinker and merely had a lapse in judgment.
Source: The Salem News, "Eighth DUI conviction lands Salem man in prison" Julie Manganis, Oct. 31, 2013