My client had a relapse with alcohol. Although she had been sober for years, she fell off the wagon. One night, she got impaired and rear-ended another car. She was arrested and refused the Intoxilyzer. She was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and released with a CAM monitor on her ankle.
It was not good. She had a prior DUI from several years before, so she needed to get her life straightened out.
My client was just as motivated to stay sober as she was working on the case. She got back into AA meetings. She did DUI school and did the counseling. She did the Victim Impact Panel. She reported the accident to her insurance company and cooperated with them. She did everything right.
We reviewed the police reports and the video and she was clearly impaired, so this case was all about minimizing the consequences.
Because this was a second DUI outside of 5 years, there was no mandatory jail time required. But, the prosecutor wanted her to do 30 days of jail as a penalty. The prosecutor argued that she was very impaired, had a prior DUI, and had caused an accident.
I explained to the judge that what my client had completed was exceptional and asked for no jail. The judge thought about it and asked if all restitution had been paid to the other driver. We reset the court date to find out.
We learned that the other driver had to pay $200 out of pocket for rental car expenses. My client gladly paid that before the hearing. In return, the judge rewarded her with no jail time! She was thrilled and it was a good result in a case that could have easily gone the other way. Now, my client’s goal is to continue on with her sobriety and get the remaining DUI conditions done so that she can get off probation early.