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Former Denver officer believes DUI punishment was too severe

There is no doubt that a drunk driving conviction can mean significant life consequences for a person. And that is true no matter who the supposed offender is, even if he is a police officer. It takes aggressive representation by a criminal defense attorney for a defendant to have a better shot at regaining his normal life back after a DUI arrest.

In June of 2010, a Denver police officer was reportedly driving by the airport when a fellow law enforcement officer found reason to chase and pull him over. The officer was allegedly speeding, and when the situation was investigated further, the other trooper found cause to arrest the driver for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Some more cynical folks might think that an officer of the law is allowed to get away with more than the average citizen. But in this case, the arrested officer wound up being convicted of driving while impaired and reckless driving. He pleaded guilty to the charges but was surprised to face what he believes is too harsh of a consequence for his behavior.

The Denver officer lost his job on the force, and he is fighting back in order to regain his position. With the support of the Denver Police Protective Association's lawyers, the ex-officer is appealing the Denver Civil Service Commission's decision to discharge him from the force. He argues that the loss of his job is an "excessive" consequence that seeks to punish rather than correct behavior.

The DCSC is backing up its decision, emphasizing that the officer wasn't just driving while over the legal limit, but he was speeding at an excessive level. He was driving more than 80 MPH over the speed limit. The commission believes the behavior shows a lack of "Department values."

How this particular scenario will play out is for the future to tell. What this matter does highlight is just how serious a drunk driving or reckless driving conviction can be. A person's finances, freedom and career can be on the line following an arrest, which is why it's crucial to rely on a criminal defense lawyer with a reputation of excellence.

Source

San Jose Mercury News: "Denver cop fired for driving 143 mph while drunk wants his job back," Tom McGhee, Dec. 29, 2011

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