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After 10 DUIs, man gets 3 years in prison

A man crashed in Colorado Springs last year while he was under the influence of alcohol. Recently, he was sentenced to three years in prison, though he faced the possibility of six years in jail. What is noteworthy about this story is that the convicted individual had nine previous DUIs in his life. Though most of his prior offenses occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, this still marks the 10th drunk driving offense of his life.

On the surface, this definitely sounds like a case where the courts should drop the hammer, doesn't it? Such repetitive behavior that violates the law deserves harsh punishment, or so the thinking goes.

However, harsh punishment doesn't always achieve the desired effect. Sometimes negative reinforcement only makes a person more likely to recommit an offense. In DUI cases, this can be especially prevalent. When you get a DUI, a wide variety of severe consequences are applied that make it very difficult for the convicted person to improve his or her life and learn from their mistake.

With the inability to drive, the financial penalties, and the possibility of jail time, and myriad other factors, how can we realistically expect someone to recover from a DUI?

People need therapy, counseling and a whole lot more to truly recover from a DUI (or multiple DUIs). In addition, they need to adequately defend themselves in the wake of a DUI charge. With so much at stake in these cases, to do so without a defense attorney can be a huge mistake.

Source: The Gazette, "Colorado Springs man gets prison time for 10th DUI," Lance Benzel, Jan. 27, 2016

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