Monday, April 2, 2012

March 19, 2012: OWI-2nd Reduced to Minor Traffic Offense and Non-Traffic Violation

BAK had finally found the job he was looking for, as a Senior Customer Zone Technician for a telecommunications company. The job paid well, but more importantly, provided excellent health care benefits for BAK and his young family. BAK's friends knew how much his new job meant to BAK, so they invited him out to celebrate. After a fun day of boating with his buddies, being arrested for drunk driving was the furthest thing on BAK's mind. But in the process of loading his boat on his trailer, BAK allegedly struck another vehicle in the parking lot. The police were called to the scene and BAK was ultimately arrested for drunk driving, unfortunately his second offense. After failing the field sobriety tests (on camera) and taking a blood test which showed an alcohol level of .166, BAK's world seemed like it was crashing in on him. He knew his new job required that he drive a company truck and possess fully valid driving privileges at all times. A conviction for a second OWI would mean his immediate termination. He was also looking at a fairly stiff jail sentence and mandatory ignition interlock device. He had to do something. Fortunately, a local attorney BAK knew was familiar with Dennis Melowski's unmatched success in defending drunk driving cases and told BAK to give Dennis a call. When Dennis listened to BAK's version of events, he knew there was hope. Through careful questioning of the arresting officer at BAK's DOT suspension hearing, this hope was confirmed. Dennis was able to lay the groundwork for several legal issues he could use as leverage with the prosecutor. These issues, combined with some important evidence the police failed to preserve, ultimately led to a fantastic resolution. One of BAK's original charges (OWI-2nd) was reduced to the minor traffic offense of Unsafe Backing of Vehicle, a 2-point ticket that carries only a small fine. The remaining charge (PAC-2nd) was reduced to Boating While Intoxicated, a non-traffic offense that carries no loss of license and will not even appear on BAK's driver record. He paid a fine of $393.50, but otherwise suffered no consequences. He served no jail; never lost his license for even a single day; avoided the mandatory ignition interlock device; and paid a fine that was about a thousand dollars less than the fine of his original charge. Most importantly, BAK's new job was saved. He couldn't be happier.