From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: MotorHome accident yesterday in WA
> On Tue, 13 Jun 2000 16:52:27 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> >The picture concept is just pandering to morbid curiosity, as is
> >slowing down to see what ever gruesome sight there is because of an
> >accident. As far as MADD goes, their advertising is focused on people
> >who were killed by drunk drivers, not the vehicles involved. I doubt
> >if seeing a smashed vehicle has much long-term effect on drivers,
> >idiots, drunks, or otherwise.
> I am a Criminal Defense Attorney and do mainly DUI cases.
Ah, the lowest layer of the pile of shit that goes by the title
"criminal defense Attorney". I suppose the mind can rationalize
anything but I'll be damned if I can figure out how anyone who gets
drunk drivers off can sleep at night.
> I defended a gentleman that had just celebrated his 25th anniversary
> as a driver for a local milk company. He and a couple friends stopped
> at a watering hole to have a mid-summer draft. He had 3-4 quick beers
> and left to go home.
"3-4 quick beers?" riiight. What was the guy doing, shotgunning
>An officer saw that his tail light was out and
> stopped him in his driveway, 2 blocks from the bar. The Cop noted an
> odor of alcohol and after suitable field sobriety tests, arrested him.
> A breath test taken about 1 hour later showed an alc. concentration of
> Now, it takes about 1 hour for alcohol to fully affect a person and
> register. Acknowledged scientific calculations showed that his BAC at
> the time of driving was substantially below the minimum threshold for
> DUI. His charges were dismissed.
Proud of yourself, aren't you.
> Unfortunately, the offficer reported the BAC charge to Arizona MVD.
> He lost his license and... AND his job of 25 years.
So, despite your worst efforts, the system worked. Hurray for
> Now folks, he had never had a citation prior to this time and NEVER a
> DUI. There was no accident, no bad driving, and no crime.
The crime was, he was driving drunk. There was no accident because
the cop managed to snatch him off the road before he could kill
> Nonetheless, he lost everything. BTW, MVD loss of DL is a civil
> sanction and not for "punitive" purposes, but REMEDIAL???
Boohoohoohooo. My heart bleeds. Maybe he'll think about that the
next time he chooses to shotgun "3-4 beers" and then drives.
> Anyway, I thought this result was unduly harsh and went to my State
> Senator. He agreed and promptly set about to alter the MVD law to
> allow for a work permit for first time offenders where no accident
> Then MADD stepped in and stated to my dear senator in no uncertain
> terms that, should he alter the already too lenient law, he would
> never hold elective office again.
In this case, good for MADD. MADD scares me because they're willing
to accept almost any erosion of the rights of everyone in order to
get to the drunks but in this case, looks like they were useful.
> The Arizona head of MADD told me that in her view, "All persons
> arrested (not convicted, just arrested) for DUI should be PUT TO
Change that word "arrested" to "convicted" and I'm in full
agreement. There is never, ever any excuse for drinking and
driving. Period. Ever! I would, however, be interested to see you
rationalization of some reason to drive with any booze in the
The guy who hit me head-on had a whole slimy trail of scumbag
lawyers like you stringing out behind him. He had a lifetime of
DUIs, most of which were pled down to something lesser. At the time
he hit me, he was so plastered that he thought that my lane on the 2
lane highway was a turn lane. He just dropped out of traffic right
in front of me to make a left turn. In one of the rare instances of
justice, he was killed in the wreck while I was not hurt (thank God
for good seatbelts and a crashworthy car). Unfortunately he also
killed his wife. The BAC of his residue that they scraped up off
the road was 0.25. Even though I can think of no real reason to
want to preserve this guy's life, perhaps had there been less of
YOU, then he would have been in jail that day and still might have
been alive. And I'd still have my cherished Datsun 280Z.
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: MotorHome accident yesterday in WA
Steve Wolf wrote:
> Neon John <johngdNOSPAM@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
> > > I am a Criminal Defense Attorney and do mainly DUI cases.
> > Ah, the lowest layer of the pile of shit that goes by the title
> > "criminal defense Attorney". I suppose the mind can rationalize
> > anything but I'll be damned if I can figure out how anyone who gets
> > drunk drivers off can sleep at night.
> That's incredibly unfair and tramples any form of justice both here and
> With cameras in the cruisers, digital audio taping devices and strict laws,
> there isn't a reason in the world a person should get out of a DUI unless the
> law enforcement authority screwed up or lied. Our justice systems allows
> those cases to be defended.
Assuming, of course, that this department had said equipment in its
cruisers. Risky assumption.
> China has an excellent example how your system works. The Arab nations also
> have no use for a fair trial. Mexico is even more creative. The U.S. should
> do the same?
What the f*ck? Who said anything about no use for a trial? Instead
of jumping to wild-assed conclusions like that, perhaps you ought to
take a day sometimes and go witness how the drunk court works. I
get the unfortunate opportunity to witness this process every month
or so when I go to prosecute bad check warrants. Bad checks are
considered even lower in priority than drunks so we get to sit and
watch all day. I'll give you a short course on how it works.
In Cleveland, the court that hears drunk cases is the General
Sessions Court. The judge is elected - first big problem. The
judge who has sat ever since I can remember is impaired far beyond
what should be required to remove him. He's always been of
questionable mental stability. he's prone to wandering off in the
middle of a case to lecture the courtroom on his experience in the
Army during WWII or something similar. He's had Parkinson's disease
for several years and it's advanced to the point where his mental
faculties are further degraded. A docket that would take a normal
judge an hour to dispose of takes all day.
The first question is, why doesn't the legal profession take action
against him. Best explanation is one that was given me by a lawyer
friend, namely, sharks don't feed on sharks regardless.
Even before this guy lost his mind, he would almost never hear a DUI
case through. He'd toss any case where every single "t" wasn't
crossed. Those which he couldn't legitimately toss, He'd
practically force the prosecution to plea down. He was a major
reason why Tennessee passed mandatory minimum sentences for DUI a
few years ago. Now he typically sentences the drunk to weekend jail
- a loophole we're working on fixing right now. I've never seen a
1st time offender in court. Usually the drunk has a thick file of
So the drunk and the drunk attorney (who stands out among the other
attorneys by his especially slimy looks) stand before the bench.
Unless the drunk couldn't make bail, his breath is probably
flammable from a night of drinking. Of course, he's never arrested
for public drunkenness. Usually the guy will plead either guilty or
nolo because he knows the fix is in. He does have to serve the jail
time but usually only on the weekends. There's a minimum fine of
$500 for the first offense (which they always get away with
claiming) so the judge can't let them out of it but he can do the
next best thing - put 'em on a 2 year installment plan. All the
drunk has to say is that he can't pay - never is his story checked.
So the next question is, how does this guy get elected? Easy,
really. Intersection of several influences. Usually he never even
has an opponent. The local bar, aware that they don't make money if
they can't get clients off, stand practically 100% united behind
him. According to my attorney friend, there is extreme pressure on
any attorney who lets it be known that he's thinking about running.
And the same bar got the law changed a few years ago to preclude
non-lawyers from running. The second factor is, as is typical of
small dry towns, Cleveland is filled with boozers. And those who
aren't boozers are related to one. Oh, everyone talks a good story
but in the last election where we finally managed to field an
opposition candidate, we could get NO public support. The most
frequent comment was along the lines of "hey, I might be up there
So what we have here is a state where the DUI laws are as tough as
any but have practically no teeth because of corrupt/incompetent
judges. At this point we're just waiting for him to die.
The other thing you might want to think about is how these drunk
lawyers work. They handle cases in bulk. AS such, they have a
powerful weapon to use against the prosecutors before they ever even
get to court. The weapon is to force full process of every single
case, tying the courts in knots. Under this threat, rotten deals
are struck. Run of the mill scumbags get some minor penalty, the
drunk lawyer gets to brag to his client how lucky he was to get off
with a slap and the drunk lawyer gets a chit that he can call in
when needed. Say, when he feels sorry for some client. I've sat
near the prosecution table during the deal making so I know that
this is how it work.
See, this scumbag lawyer who is so proud of getting his drunk client
off has only told you his own, cooked side of the story. I'm sure
that the real story is greatly at variance with his report. And
even if this story was to be accurate, it would certainly be the
exception to the rule. People don't just out of the blue shotgun
enough beer to blow 0,101 shortly thereafter. You gotta have a
history to be able to "quickly" drink that much beer.
What's the solution to all this mess? Got me. I think that the
first step will be for most of us to accept that drunk driving IS a
serious crime that deserves hard jail time and property forfeiture
(AFTER conviction and not before.) It's funny how people work. If
some scumbag snatches a purse or picks a pocket, people howl like
they're being killed. And yet they seem to accept drunk driving
with little more than a wagged finger. At least until they either
get hit by a drunk driver or have a close one killed by a drunk.
This area is where MADD has really dropped the ball. Instead of
concentrating their resources on further education of the public to
the results of drunk driving, they've detoured off toward falling
into the old prohibition fallacy. We can't make people stop
drinking (nor should we) but we could stop people from driving drunk
- at least more than once - if we had the will. It's sad that it
takes getting a loved one killed or injured before one gets
interested in the subject.
So no, steve, I'm not in favor of whatever autocratic society you
imagine me to be. What I AM in favor of is actually trying these
drunks instead of corrupting the system to get the guy off by legal