Jets Linebacker Gets Suspended Sentence In Second DUI
Dylan Donahue will be on probation for three months after he pleaded guilty to DUI in Billings. It’s his second DUI conviction.
According to prosecutors, Donahue hit an abandoned vehicle and wrecked his car. No one was injured, but according to a blood test, his alcohol level was .14. That’s almost twice the legal limit in Montana. Nevertheless, prosecutors agreed to a sentence that’s roughly half the standard offer in these cases. Lawyers for the state admitted their evidence was weak and also cited the fact that Donahue had already completed substance abuse treatment.
As this was his second DUI conviction, Donahue may face discipline from the National Football League. Earlier, he pleaded guilty to similar charges stemming from an incident in Jacksonville, Florida.
DUI Consequences in New York
The Empire State is tough on intoxicated motorists. The direct consequences include jail time, court supervision, fines, and civil penalties. There are also some significant indirect consequences as well, including:
- Higher Insurance Rates: Sometimes, billboards pop up which claim that a DUI costs thousands of dollars. Much of that amount is higher auto insurance rates. These individuals must obtain SR-22 insurance. This high-risk insurance may be two or three times more costly than regular car insurance.
- Drivers’ License Suspension: In some cases, a DUI conviction can mean up to a two year suspension, or even longer in some cases. An occupational or limited drivers’ license may be available, especially if the defendant agrees to an IID (ignition interlock device).
An IID is connected to the vehicle’s ignition. Before starting the car, the driver must blow into a portable Breathalyzer. If the driver’s BAC is above a certain level, usually .04, the vehicle will not start. Also, the driver must provide occasional samples while the vehicle is in operation. Too many rolling refusals, or a rolling failure, disables the ignition and the vehicle will not restart.
Most IIDs now include digital cameras to ensure that the person providing the chemical sample is also the driver.
An attorney may be able to reduce or eliminate some of these consequences. Pretty much everything is negotiable during the plea bargaining process. Additionally, some jurisdictions reduce weak DUI cases to reckless driving cases. Although reckless driving is also a misdemeanor, it does not have the nearly as many collateral consequences as DUI.
Defenses in a DUI Case
There are basically three phases of a DUI case, and every one of them in an opportunity to beat these charges.
In most cases, officers must have reasonable suspicion to detain a motorist on suspicion of DUI. That includes items like:
- Erratic driving,
- Odor of alcohol, and
- Bloodshot eyes.
Such evidence is normally rather shaky. To supplement it, officers often rely on a defendant’s statement, such as “I only had two beers.”
Next, there must be probable cause for the arrest. This evidence usually comes from the field sobriety tests, such as the one-leg stand and heel-to-toe walk. These tests are rather subjective. Moreover, there is little scientific evidence that they accurately measure intoxication level.
Finally, a New York prosecutor must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. If the defendant refused to provide a chemical sample, such evidence normally comes from the aforementioned field sobriety tests. These tests are barely sufficient for probable cause, and beyond a reasonable doubt is a much higher standard.