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24-year prison sentence handed down to repeat DUI offender

A man who was arrested on his fifth drunk driving charge after fleeing from police, traveling at over 100 miles per hour during the chase, and eventually resisting arrest, has been sentenced to 24 years in jail. The case has received quite a bit of media attention due to the lavish details included in the story. This isn't your ordinary DUI offender, nor is this your ordinary repeat DUI offender.

The man was tearful in court, apologizing for his actions and the harm he caused the victims of the eventual accident -- two young people who were injured as a result the chase and crash. But, unfortunately for him, the evidence was too much and his history caught up to him.

While this story is tragic, it also makes for a great headline for the media. "See? All repeat DUI offenders are bad people who act negligently," is the easy message they can get across with a story like this. In this particular case, the man certainly seems guilty of that. However, many DUI offenders (repeat or otherwise) are not this man. They are just people who have a problem with alcohol. They don't lead the police on any headline-grabbing chases. They don't cause accidents. Instead, they just have a dependency on alcohol.

And how does the justice system treat these people? It punishes them profusely, and makes it very difficult for them to treat the root cause of their behavior. This is why it is so important for people accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to defend themselves as best they can.

Source: ABC 7, "Repeat DUI offender sentenced to 24 years for Castle Rock chase, crash and fire," Lindsay Watts, Jan. 15, 2016

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