Baton Rouge, LA- Baton Rouge police responded to two separate hit and run accidents only to discover that both drivers were intoxicated, and to make matters worse for the men, they would both be charged with their third DUI offense.
In the first incident, police responded to the scene at 1600 Oneal Lane sometime on Saturday. The driver of one vehicles took off on foot, but was followed by an off-duty officer, according to Red Stick Now. The off-duty officer alerted the police of the fleeing man’s location.
When officers caught up with the man, who was later identified as 23 year-old Steven Honora, they noticed he smelled strongly of alcohol. Police conducted field sobriety tests, but he refused to submit to a breathalyzer.
Honora was the placed under arrest and charged with his third DWI offense, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, resisting arrest and hit and run.
In a separated incident, also on Saturday, Aug. 4th, police responded to another hit and run on Foster Dr. The driver of one of the vehicles told police that he was hit by a red minivan.
The driver of the red minivan also took off on foot “staggering down the road,” and leaving his vehicle behind,Red Stick Now reported.
Police caught up with the driver, identified as Terrell Murray, he smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech. A breathalyzer test showed that Murray’s blood alcohol level was .275, three times the legal limit.
The vehicle driver was owned by another individual who told police that Murray was not authorized to use the vehicle.
Murray was then placed under arrest for his third DWI and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.
These two men are now facing tough penalties. While courts have the tendency to be lenient with first-time offenders, the courts have less patience with repeat offenders.
The mandatory sentence that accompanies a third DWI offense in Baton Rouge includes 30 days in jail, but the jail term can be up to five years in jail. There is also the possibility of being placed on house arrest with a third DWI offense. Third offenders may also be required to surrender their vehicles to the state.
In addition to jail terms and seizure of their vehicles, third offenders must pay up to $2,000 in court fees. They must also spend six weeks in an in-patient substance abuse program, and an additional 12 months in an out-patient substance abuse program.
The penalties for multiple DWI offenses can be costly and the offenders will their personal freedoms so it is critical that these individuals seek the assistance of a Baton Rouge DWI attorney.
With legal assistance, these repeat offenders can challenge the evidence against them and increase their chances of beating the charges. Many people make the mistake of not hiring counsel when they are faced with DWI charges, but this can adversely affect their future as DWI stay on a person’s record for years.