Louisiana continues to have serious problems with drunk driving offenses and the weight of destruction that they leave in their path. When a driver is severely impaired with alcohol, members of the public and law enforcement officers often do not know what to expect. For example, the police in Calcasieu Parish recently responded to a drunk driving call regarding a man who was allegedly sitting in the driver’s seat of a car, slumped over on the steering wheel and pressing on the horn. The car was outside a grocery store in Lake Charles, and the man was also reportedly vomiting at the same time.
If true, the spectacle is consistent with drunk driving behavior. The police say that, when they arrived, they shut off the engine. They allege that the man admitted to drinking a bottle of Vodka, which was supported by their purported finding of an empty Vodka bottle in the car. The deputy who conducted the investigation reports also that he smelled alcohol on the suspect.
Police allege that he was not fit for a field sobriety test due to a danger of falling. At the sheriff’s office, they allegedly gave him a Breathalyzer test, and he was over the legal limit. Police say that the suspect had two prior DWI arrests in the past 10 years which, if true, will expand the penalties and punishment available to the court. After a brief visit to the hospital, he was incarcerated and charged with DWI 3d.
The court set a high bond of $50,000 with special conditions that he not drive nor consume alcohol. The bail terms included drug and alcohol screenings. It is unknown whether the suspect raised the bail to be released. If the drunk driving allegations are supported, criminal defense counsel will likely seek an agreement that allows the suspect to get back to a functioning life as quickly as possible. The only saving grace of the arrest is that there was no accident, no damages and no injuries to anyone, and defense counsel will try to use those facts to mitigate the punishment pursuant to Louisiana law.