Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 15, 2013: OWI-1st (with .108 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

As a power lineman for a large electrical company, GTK is required to operate all manner of heavy equipment, which requires him to have fully valid commercial driving privileges at all times. As a CDL holder, GTK is well aware of the brutal consequences a DUI charge can have. Professionally, it's like a death-sentence. Once you're a convicted drunk driver, most company's won't touch you with a ten-foot pole, even years down the road. In the commercial driving world, convicted drunk drivers are viewed as little more than damaged goods. So when GTK was stopped for speeding after a night out at the bar with some co-workers, his professional life literally flashed before his eyes the moment the cop asked him if he'd been drinking. He honestly thought his lucrative career as a lineman was over. GTK's fear only grew as he struggled through the roadside tests the officer had him perform. Even worse, when the cop searched GTK's vehicle post-arrest, he found an uncased handgun, so GTK was also arrested for Carrying a Concealed Weapon, a serious charge. The result of the blood test after GTK's arrest was like the final nail in his professional coffin: .108, over the legal limit and "scientific proof" that GTK was guilty. GTK knew he needed help, but didn't know where to turn. As it turns out, one of GTK's co-workers knew that Dennis Melowski had gotten two other linemen in the company out of their DUI charges and kept one of Dennis' cards in his wallet--just in case. GTK jotted down Dennis' number and gave him a call. It turned out to be the smartest phone call GTK ever made. After months of relentless litigation, and just an hour before GTK's trial was about to start, the prosecutor, well aware of Dennis' track record in trial, finally decided it would be better to just settle the case. A very favorable deal was reached. The drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, GTK plead no contest to a reduced charge of Reckless Driving, which would have no impact on GTK's regular or commercial driving privileges. In fact, GTK didn't lose his license for even a single day. Aside from paying a fine, GTK suffered no consequences from this incident. And the Carrying a Concealed Weapon Charge? It was resolved as a simple municipal ordinance violation carrying a small fine. GTK's career as a lineman was saved. Another Real Result in the books.