A former city council member in Illinois was sentenced for drunk driving on May 10. The sentencing was for an incident that occurred July 10, 2016. He resigned his position on the Joliet City Council a few months later.
The man went to court to fight the charges, but he was not successful. Prosecutors at the sentencing argued that the man should be sent to jail for five days as a repeat offender. The man’s defense attorney argued that it had been more than 16 years since he was taken into custody for drunk driving the last time and that no aggravating factors were associated with the 2016 incident.
The judge agreed with the defense attorney that the amount of time since the man’s last offense should be taken into consideration. However, the man will be required to do 240 hours of community service. He will also be on conditional discharge for a year and has to go to court-mandated counseling.
As this incident demonstrates, in some cases, a drunk driving charge can have an effect on a person’s career and other aspects of the person’s life. Furthermore, legal consequences of driving under the influence may include license suspension, having to install an ignition interlock device, jail time and more. However, while some people might assume that a DUI charge automatically means a conviction, this is not always the case. Tests could be performed incorrectly. If a person’s rights were violated, some evidence might be dropped. A person might also be able to work out a deal that involves attending a treatment program in exchange for reduced charges. A plea bargain may allow a person to plead guilty and receive a lighter sentence.
Source: Joliet Patch, “Jim McFarland, Repeat Drunk Driver, Gets Sentenced“, John Ferak, May 11, 2018