Under no interpretation of the law should anyone deemed to be "factually innocent" continue to be imprisoned. Seems like common sense to me. But not in the 9th Circuit.
A DUI can happen to almost anyone who makes a series of poor decisions. For instance, what happens if you spend an evening drinking, drive home, park in front of your house, and find yourself too intoxicated to get out of your vehicle? For most people, you’d spend an uncomfortable night sleeping it off in the front seat. For a Billlings, Montana woman last week, things ended a little differently.
Carol Frances Omeara, 55, chose to reach out for help. For her, unfortunately, help took the form of a call to 911 and a police officer “helping” her out of her car – and into his. Charged with her fourth DUI, Ms. Omeara had a BAC of .311 percent, nearly four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent!
Even though she was in a parked car – which in and of itself does not get you out of a DUI charge – Omeara admitted to the 911 operator and to the officer that she had been drinking and subsequently driving. This alone would likely be enough to convict her if she were in Pennsylvania.
If Omeara had been driving in Pennsylvania, she would likely be charged with a “fourth or subsequent” DUI offense, based on her three prior DUI cases, provided she pled guilty or was convicted within the past ten years. A fourth offense DUI carries some hefty mandatory penalties: a mandatory minimum 1 year prison sentence; a minimum $1,500 fine (and up to $10,000 if the judge determines the case warrants it); an 18-month driver license suspension; a mandatory ignition interlock system for one year upon reacquiring driving privileges; and extensive drug and/or alcohol counseling and treatment.
If you find yourself stopped for a Pennsylvania DUI, you should speak with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney immediately. You may not receive your charges in the mail for weeks or even months, and you will likely be scheduled for court within days of the day you get the papers in the mail. By then, your memory will not be as clear and you won’t be able to provide your attorney with the details that may help you avoid the charge. Remember: the police are trained to remember and record information. They will be certain in what they remember. You should want your DUI attorney to have the same advantage.