The head football coach at Grissom High School in Huntsville was recently arrested and charged with DUI on school property, The Huntsville Times reports.
Certainly it can be shocking for the public when a football coach, or any person of influence over children, is charged with DUI because of the potential impact on teenagers. But what people must understand is how common and unsophisticated a charge DUI is. It can — and does — happen to anyone. Politicians, educators, celebrities and athletes alike have all faced a charge of a DUI in Alabama and throughout the country because it is typically done by accident.
The Alabama DUI Lawyer Blog has reported on politicians, teachers and other celebrities who have been arrested for this charge not to embarrass them, but to show that anyone can unknowingly commit this crime. Yet despite the nature of the charge, lawmakers have madepenalties for DUI in Birmingham staggeringly high compared to other misdemeanor crimes. That's why consulting with an experienced Birmingham DUI Attorney should be the first step.
According to the news report, the football coach was arrested near the practice field at the high school one recent weekend night. The article quotes school officials as saying he “was or had been driving” a school vehicle when he was arrested. Police, though, said he was “not in the process of driving,” but was in or near the vehicle.
Police wouldn't release the man's blood-alcohol level, whether he took a field sobriety test, breath test or blood test or other details of the investigation, saying it was ongoing, or that the information could be used by his defense attorney.
Obviously, it will be used by his defense attorney, if the lawyer has experience handling DUI cases. What is interesting in this case is the fact that school officials are telling the media he was driving a vehicle, while the police say he wasn't. If the coach wasn't driving a vehicle, how could be he charged with driving under the influence?
It's contradictory information like this that must be presented not only to prosecutors while they are making the decision whether or not to press charges, but if it gets to a trial, at trial. Showing that police aren't 100 percent sure on the details of the investigation can go a long way with a jury about showing the person isn't guilty of the charge.
It is critically important for a defendant to trust their attorney and to hire someone who has the experience and knowledge handling DUI defense. While some in the public may believe that an arrest means the case is open and shut, that's not the case at all. All aspects of a case can be challenged, such as the probable cause for the initial stop, the breathalyzer results and even the officer's observations on field sobriety testing.
Because the stakes are so high — possible jail time, probation, community service and the knock to a person's reputation — all DUI cases must be handled aggressively in order to avoid the possible punishments.
More Blog Entries:
Former Teacher Charged with DUI in Albertville: August 6, 2011
Roy Moore's Underage Son Arrested for DUI in Alabama: July 22, 2011
Grissom High School football coach Keith Henderson arrested on DUI charges, by Victoria Cumbow, The Huntsville Times