For most people, getting arrested for their first charge of driving under the influence (DUI) is a terrible experience. Facing jail time, mandatory fines, a suspended license, increased insurance and DUI school can be frightening, especially without the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney. Most drivers are deterred from their first DUI experience that they avoid a second DUI. However, some drivers are so little deterred by a DUI arrest that they go out and get arrested for a second DUI in the same day.
Recently, in Connecticut, a former police officer appeared in court on two drunk driving charges within 11 hours, in addition to charges for shoplifting. The former police officer left his department after a conviction of reckless endangerment in 2006, related to a drunken rampage. John Biehn, a former Bridgeport police officer appeared in Rockville Superior Court related to a DUI charge earlier in the year. After the hearing, he was released where he found his way to a Rockville McDonald's restaurant. Police confronted Biehn, where he failed a sobriety check, and was arrested for a DUI. He posted bond and was released, but that evening Biehn was stopped again, and charged with another DUI. If the two DUIs weren't enough, Biehn was again arrested for larcenty at a Wal-Mart store.
A woman in New York had a similar experience of multiple visits to the police over a matter of hours. On Halloween, Catherine Butler, 26 years old, from Rochester, New York was pulled over for allegedly driving without headlights. Police found the young woman in full zombie attire, after she had been attending a Zombie Prom party. Her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.11 percent. She was arrested on suspicion of DUI, and released. A friend drove Butler home, but she did not intend to be stifled by her recent DUI arrest.
Less than three hours later, Butler was pulled over by a different police officer after she was allegedly observed swerving between lanes, on the same street as her prior arrest. A breathalyzer test showed that she had not sobered up enough to pass the 0.08 percent BAC limit. She was charged with a second DUI. With two prior DUI arrests, Halloween night brought Butler's total count to four.
The issue of drunk drivers being arrested only to be released to drive again has been a problem here in Washington State. After an incident in 2007, an impaired driver returned to her vehicle after arrest, but before sobering up, and drove away. The driver then caused a collision seriously injuring another driver. After that incident, the State developed a mandatory 12 hour impound for every driver arrested for a DUI. The law went into effect in 2011.
According to State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste, the law was “about making sure that impaired drivers don't return to their cars and drive again before they've sobered up.” Batiste continued, “This isn't about trying to punish someone for drunk driving. If they're found guilty, that will become the court's job.”