Posted by DUI attorney Nick Alcock
There is a case in Mississippi that pretty much sums up how unfair the law can be when it comes to DUI law. In Gulfport, a man was driving home after consuming some beer. Another car pulled in front of him. The man swerved to avoid an accident. However, his car collided with another, and the driver of the other car happened to be the daughter of the local police chief. As a DUI attorney, I can tell you that is about as bad as it gets.
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The case involving Darrell Blappert, Jr. is a perfect example of how strange the DUI punishment can be. Had Mr. Blappert not consumed any alcohol that night, he probably would have swerved to avoid being hit by the other car. The accident likely still would have happened. Apparently the prosecution is not disputing this. What is in contention here, is that drinking and driving is an act of negligence. If you engage in a negligent act, and someone get’s killed, you go to prison.
In Mississippi, Mr. Blappert is looking at 20+ years in prison. His DUI Attorneys probably can’t do much more to prevent that. This isn’t a simple slap on the wrist. He is facing the type of time people get for intentionally killing others. What’s strange about this is that the law permits a person to get punished for the outcome of an accident, not the actions of the accussed that lead to the accident. Mr. Blappert is probably going to prison for a very long time because he made the decision to drink and drive.
People as me, “How can you be a DUI attorney? How can you defend criminals?” The answer is simple. Millions of people drive after drinking. A few people deserve punishment for their reckless driving. A few just are in the wrong place in the wrong time. Thos people deserve a good defense.
Most of the time, people who make this decision get a day in jail. It is pure serendipity that another car pulled in front of Blappert. It is ridiculously bad luck that this happened in Mississippi, where the law is unyieldingly harsh. I hope that at some point, legislators will revisit the notion that people in the wrong place at the wrong time deserve to have their lives ended in prison.
DUI attorney Nick Alcock practices DUI law in Phoenix, Arizona
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