A former special education teacher in Albertville was arrested and charged with DUI after allegedly hitting a vehicle and a coin-operated laundry recently, according to The Sand Mountain Reporter.
This story shows that DUI is a charge that is far from sophisticated, meaning anyone can commit the crime. Whether a teacher with years of helping people or a police officer sworn to uphold the law, DUI in Birmingham is common. And while it is typically charged as a misdemeanor, it carries with it severe penalties that can land a person in jail, require they attend DUI school, pay fines and fees and be placed on probation. That's why hiring an experienced Birmingham DUI Attorney is so important. Facing these penalties — an non-court related sanctions such as job loss or job disqualification — means a lot is on the line for these defendants.
In this case, according to police, the 41-year-old teacher was driving a van that hit a parked car around 10 a.m. recently before hitting the building that houses a coin-operated laundry. A wall kept the van from entering the business. The owner of the vehicle was inside the laundry at the time.
According to police, the woman was given field sobriety tests and a breath test, where she blew a .338, more than four times the legal limit of .08. She faces charges of driving on a revoked license, driving under the influence, violating the open container law and violating probation. According to the newspaper, the woman was on probation for a January domestic violence charge and has a history of DUI charges.
As a condition of her probation, the woman was required to complete an intensive outpatient program for substance abuse, to avoid arrest and refrain from using alcohol. If she completed all those conditions, the January domestic violence charge would have been dropped. But a judge reinstated her sentence and added a fine, 60 days in jail, 24 months of probation, completion of an anger management program, completion of an alcohol/substance abuse program and 50 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
The newspaper article states the woman was a kindergarten teacher but was fired by the school system after a prior DUI.
The story shows not only the seriousness of picking up a DUI charge, but also the potential fallout for those with a prior criminal history. First-time offenders can sometimes get charges dropped or enter pleas to less-serious charges, such as reckless driving. But multiple offenders rarely get special treatment from prosecutors or judges.
In fact, it's possible to be charged with a felony if there are several DUI charges on a person's criminal history record or depending on the facts of the case. Injuries, property damage or death can result in a person facing a felony charge and serious prison time rather than the possible penalties for a first-time DUI offender in Birmingham.
Whether facing a misdemeanor or felony, first-time offense or fourth offense, DUI defense is critical. Investigating all aspects of the case and holding the state accountable for proving the charge is important. A past record is no proof of a current charge and therefore an aggressive defense is critical.
More Blog Entries:
Roy Moore's Underage Son Arrested for DUI in Alabama: July 22, 2011
Former Albertville teacher arrested for DUI, by Elizabeth Summers, The Sand Mountain Reporter