blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

9.22.2008

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

Wise County is scaring me a little bit. I have had discussions with some of the prosecutors about their desire to require SCRAM devices as a condition of probation in some selected cases. Those devices are not-so-little ankle bracelets that detect alcohol intake and record it. Each night the defendant plugs the device into a modem and the daily readings are sent off to Big Brother. In some cases, I'll admit, this might make sense. As one prosecutor correctly noted, a guy who gets two or more DWIs would not be a "criminal" if we could separate him from alcohol. But then I got a call from an old client who had been arrested for DWI. Frankly, it was his second arrest for such an offense. But imagine my surprise when he told me that the SCRAM device had been ordered as a condition of his bond. Understand what that means: Before the case is even filed in court, he is required to install the device on his ankle. (The statutes allow for an interlock device to be imposed as a condition of bond for DWI-2nd or greater but they say nothing about SCRAM devices.) Some of you hardliners might be saying, "Good! If I had my way I'd keep him locked up until his trial." (That due process thing can get in the way sometimes.) But here's the kicker, when my client got to the jail he agreed to blow into the Intoxilyzer. He didn't think he was drunk, and he was right. I saw the paperwork: The results came in less than .08. But that didn't stop a Justice of the Peace from imposing the SCRAM device as a condition of his bond. And click on that image to discover the cost. Incredible.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

O.k.---set off the redneck alarms, but is it too much inconvenience for a 2nd time DWI arrestee to have to wear an alarm bracelet even before trial? Infringement of rights is a small price to be paid for the possible prevention of someone being killed by a drunk driver.

Anonymous said...

I have no sympathy for your client. This person was already arrested once for DWI. You would have thought that this might have scared him enough to not want to go through all of this again. Apparently, it did not.

As 2:23 mentioned, so what if his rights were infringed upon slightly by the police. What about the rights of anyone he might have hit on the road? I personally know of too many people who have been killed all because some idiot thought that he had the right to drink all that he wanted and get out on the road and endanger the lives of everyone else on the road. If any of these people had just called a cab or a friend for a ride, then my friends would still be alive today. I have a friend in Canada who has a precious 10-year old girl who will never know her father because, when she was just a few months old, some idiot decided to drink and drive and hit and killed him. His only crime - he was driving to work at a trucking company early in the morning.

Anonymous said...

If he blew and he was not drunk it is an infringement of rights...

Remote Controller said...

Hey 2:23, there is a thing called innocent until proven guilty...He wasn't above the legal limit!

I used to work in probations and corrections, where do all the costs come from? I would install the monitoring devices and charge the guy a $300 setup then $69 a week to keep it on for 1 year. Plus, there were regular court costs, probation costs, lawyer fees and if I really wanted to screw him, then I would send him to a bunch of meaningless programs that had their own separate costs involved.

By the time people like this were done, they would be back because they failed to pay all of their fees.

Funny....

Anonymous said...

I feel confident to say that if you have lost a loved one at the hands of a drunk driver, you would agree there is no measure that is too stringent.

Anonymous said...

Alcohol is a very deceptive drug just when you think you have a buzz click click your partying with the fuzz!

Most people who get a dwi don't get a second one!But most all sex offenders repeat.

We now anounce scum (secure continious undisirable monitor). Detects the dna of a child under 18 years of age and dispearses a near lethal shock of 100,000 volts if any perverted desire is detected!


cost priceless!

RPM said...

I was going to post something, but Remote Controller pretty much nailed the process.

It's all about $$$ not justice or fairness or your desire to live in a Big Brother police state.

wordkyle said...

If your client has to pay for all that, he is essentially paying a fine before he has been found guilty. I can't approve of that. Regular folks couldn't afford all the costs, and as a previous poster mentioned, they'd wind up back in jail in a modern version of debtor's prison.

As much as I want to protect people from drunk drivers, I don't think a fine based on suspicion of a crime is appropriate. Too Minority Report for my tastes. I don't know what the answer might be, but this seems a little draconian. Someone who has given it more thought ought to be able to come up with a better alternative.

Anonymous said...

The story you are about to see is true.The names have been changed to insure the guilty??

Let me see,the state gives licenses to said establishments,which pays state and federal taxes...said establishments promote drinking alcohol on primises..therefore promoting drinking and driving!


Greed+Greed=You+Loose-Money

Anonymous said...

What if it was required if you refused to blow? Kind of like the DL suspension. But if he blew under the limit then this is plain govt. control and stupid.

LandShark 5150 said...

I have to say DWI-Guilty until proven innocent. You could(in theory)again in(theory)shot and kill the officer and be innocent until proven guilty but not DWI.Yes endangering other drivers should, innocent drivers, while driving under the influence is and should be a crime. But even that law needs some tweeking-does'nt cover talking on cells,eating and of coarse just being a dumb-ass. Pay attention Rexy

Anonymous said...

"ramble, ramble, ramble, and some more incoherent ramblings"...."and of coarse just being a dumb-ass."

Dear landshark 5150 - your grammar and spelling capabilities make some of us believe you are describing yourself in the above paragraph.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the big picture. It was the liberal weenies that caused banks to lend money to people that couldn't pay it back. The weenies put on the boards at Fannie and Freddie all got golden parachutes and became rich while corrupting the system. Now the weenies want us to bail them out. Would you please admit that socialism and liberalism doesn't work?

LandShark 5150 said...

Thank you!! LandShark 5150

Michael in LH said...

Shit, why not just shoot the guy. According to most of the comments here he is an inch away from killing a bus load of nuns and orphans.

Anonymous said...

And we have MADD to thank for all of this.

Anonymous said...

saying the liberals caused the econmonic meltdown is the equivalent of saying the Mexicans bombed Pearl Harbor.

Anonymous said...

I bet money that half of the commenters here have at one point in their life have had a drink or two and got in the car and driven home...give me a break. You would think your readers are a bunch of nuns. A bunch of f****** know it all's.

Gorilla said...

I have sympathy for your client. I'm sure he or she is like most of those arrested for DWI - didn't crash into anything or anyone. And like most of the millions of those who attend happy hour each day and drive home without incident.

These drunk driving laws and penalties have reached the absurd.

Anonymous said...

Something way too many of you need to hear-it COULD be you. Start acting that way, hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

5:49, I didn't say they caused the economic meltdown. I said they caused the housing crunch. Nice try though.

Anonymous said...

considering he wasn't drunk when he did the breathalizer and the fact that he hasn't even gone to court yet, I'd be outraged too. I know some people would think after a second offense he deserves it but he hasn't even be convicted of the crime yet and he's already being punished. Yep, it does seem to conflict with due process.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's easy to fix,don't call the "drink and drive" play.

Anonymous said...

You're being fleeced for your money at every turn. DWI, traffic tickets, lawyers required for any and every stupid transgression, etc., etc.

And still you sit on your collective fat asses and watch TV.
Think the NFL and American Idol are what's important in life. You deserve everything you bitch about or don't care about because they have succeded in separating you from your cash while you obsess about every meaningless Hollyweird type on your 52" HDTV screen.

America has become the land of fools and the fools have willingly sold their souls to the state for the false images offfered up in the convenience of their living rooms.

TV is killing America. What about this are you too stoopid to see?

Anonymous said...

Drinking and driving is a gamble.You know you can lose.You know you can,t win.Be smart people drink at the house or find some other mode of transportation.If you get caught know matter how "good or bad" you are its gonna cost you.Money is so tight these days they pay people to figure out how to seperate you from yours!

Anonymous said...

Why would you ever drive less than two hours after having a beer? Why would you risk that?

If you do risk it....you deserve whatever you get, I just pray it ain't my family.

That situation does seem odd though...I think we are probably missing a piece of that story.

The scariest part is that the JP has that type of power...I was incahoots with a JP near here and that guy was borderline mentally retarded. I really think they ought to have some sort IQ test before they have the power to force someone to wear something like that.

Anonymous said...

5:25 and 6:01 - I hope you never know the pain of losing a child to a drunk driver. If you had, I believe you would take a different view. Maybe the guy wasn't going to kill nuns and orphans, just someone's 16 year old child or mother or father or someone's best friend. Maybe he wasn't even drunk, just slightly impaired. Thank goodness, nothing bad happened but those of us who have had our lives changed in horrific ways due to drunk drivers call for no toleration of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. No, I am not without fault and do not claim to be but I have learned a few things and one is that we should prevent what we can prevent.

Anonymous said...

The dude wasn't even drunk.

Come back down to earth a little.

Proportionality is good in a modern, civilized society.

So are reason and rationality- though I won't push my luck by suggesting we follow those concepts in our legal system.

Anonymous said...

Yep, 10:15 those concepts worked really well for O.J.----point being that the system is not perfect, but common sense used by prudent people comes a lot closer. Please--- no lectures on "It's your system--you need to change it".

wordkyle said...

A couple of thoughts have come to me that may make me want to change my opinion.

1) Was the guy drinking at all before he got in the car to drive? Someone who's had a DUI already shoulda better known better.

2) What prompted the guy's arrest in the first place? Erratic driving? Parking next to a fire hydrant? Cutting the heads off of parking meters? If he was driving erratically, was he then "under the influence" of what little alcohol he drank?

3) Does the stringency of laws change when someone has been found guilty of the same offense before? In other words, did the guy deserve to be treated more harshly because of putting himself in the position of getting busted again?

Any charges stemming from whatever device we use to hinder DUI-ers from driving drunk should be part of the "punishment" phase, after they've been found guilty by the court. A truly innocent person shouldn't have to pay such charges.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the cop's just sit outside REDs in Bridgeport, (alcoholic bar).Guys on probation drink at this bar DAILY, then go home before dark so they won't get caught. It would be most of em's 3rd, 4th etc....

Anonymous said...

Why does Texas still have Justice of the Peace Court's? Their not Lawyer's, but yet people call them Judge??? They preside over hearing's. You're told in Wise Co. they will be doing arraignment's in the morning??? Butt who know's? It isn't an arraignement by the proper court just a bond setting hearing and the reading of your miranda rights. They set bonds ridiculously high for first offenders. Alot of cases have to be appealed to a higher court anyway. They should have pre-set bond's for common offenses and then be in court within a week or two, instead of 6 to 24 months after the fact. Maybe that's why they want monitoring cause their in no hurry to prsecute around here.