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DPD officer's case underscores jail alternatives in DUI cases

The following story was bound to get a lot of attention.

And it already has, with pundits stressing contrary views regarding what qualifies as an appropriate response in a case involving a Denver Police Department officer with a demonstrated history of problematic drinking.

That individual was the subject of intense scrutiny following his guilty plea to a charge of driving while alcohol impaired and subsequent failure to comply with various imposed restrictions.

Clearly, some people figuratively want his head for that, supporting a jail term and immediate job termination.

Some other commentators and officials take a more measured view. They argue that imposing jail-alternative fulfillment conditions on the offender in lieu of simple confinement and his firing spells a rehabilitative opportunity that makes more sense.

The DPD ultimately agreed with that view, imposing a lengthy list of conditions the officer must comply with to complete a probationary sentence. Among other things, they include demonstrated alcohol-free behavior over a long term and participation in treatment programs.

The officer is clearly thankful for the chance at redemption. "I want to be complaint," he recently stated, adding that he regards the offered treatment as a lifeline to help him overcome alcohol-linked issues.

The matter is instructive on several points, including its stressing of a second chance for offenders in appropriately vetted cases. It has often proven to be case that a narrow focus on punishment through incarceration is a self-defeating strategy that is neither cost effective nor useful in reducing recidivism.

Hopefully the officer will make the most of his rehabilitative chance.

Questions or concerns regarding Colorado DUI-linked matters (including charging and sentencing outcomes) can be directed to an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney.

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