Will 13th Strike Finally Get DUI Driver Out?
Everyone knows that in baseball the rule is three strikes, and you’re out of the game. But life isn’t always like baseball, and drivers convicted multiple times of DUI in Los Angeles often get behind the wheel and pose threats to others. Of course, California isn’t the only state with this problem, as illustrated by a recent incident in Denham Springs, Louisiana.
Before March 19th, 53-year old Jeffrey Blough had managed to rack up 11 DWI arrests and eight DWI convictions between 1983 and 2016. He had served time in jail and in prison, and he was on probation for one of those DWI offenses, when he crashed his Black Suburban into another vehicle while driving in Denham Springs. Police arrested him for DUI and took him to the station. Somehow, though, they did not pick up the fact that he had a long history of similar offenses and convictions. They let him go after charging him.
A few hours later, in Baton Rouge, Blough slammed into another car with four passengers. This time, he sent two people to the hospital with serious (fortunately not life-threatening) injuries. Unlike the police department in Denham Springs, the Baton Rouge PD had no trouble uncovering Blough’s past driving history, and they kept him in jail when he couldn’t make bond.
In Baton Rouge, at least, Blough will be facing charges of first degree vehicular negligent injuring, reckless operation and third-offense DWI. It’s not that authorities don’t realize that Blough has many more DWI offenses than three; the Louisiana state law simply doesn’t distinguish multiple offenses after the fourth.
California Vehicle Code 23152(a) treats fourth DUI offenses a little differently. If a driver has three prior DUI convictions within ten years, prosecutors are likely to charge him/her with felony DUI, which carries stronger penalties than misdemeanor DUI.
As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.