Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer provides an update on the DUI prosecutor who had his DUI dismissed

This Chicago DUI lawyer is anxious to visit her home state of South Carolina despite the headline news from the local politicians. I've posted here and here how DUI Prosecutor Barney Giese knew better than to submit to BAC(Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration) Testing. The DUI charges have been dismissed, but as I have discussed here, here, and here just like here in the Land of Lincoln his license is suspended simply for the DUI arrest.

Fifth Circuit Solicitor Barney Giese said Monday he won’t fight the six-month suspension of his driver’s license for refusing to take a breath test after his DUI arrest in Charleston in June.

But under state law, the longtime prosecutor still can drive during the suspension period, by applying for a route-restricted license, usually granted to go back and forth from work.

In a prepared statement released Monday afternoon, Giese acknowledged he refused to give a breath sample at the Charleston Police Department early on June 30. The test is done by blowing into a machine that measures a person’s blood-alcohol content.

“I did refuse to provide a breath sample, and, because of that, I am prepared to deal with the consequences of that decision,” Giese said in his statement Monday. “I will do what anyone else in my situation must do through the Department of Motor Vehicles to have my driving privilege lawfully reinstated.”

A hearing on the suspension had been scheduled for Aug. 31 in Hanahan near Charleston. Giese said in his statement that, through his attorney Monday morning, he had informed the state Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings that he was withdrawing his request for that hearing.

Contacted Monday, Laura Hudson, legislative liaison with the state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said Giese’s decision not to fight the suspension was “meaningless,” because of the special license.

“Let’s just hope he’s driving soberly and consciously while on suspension,” she said.

State law allows a driver to get a temporary or route-restricted license during the suspension period. After his arrest, Giese obtained a temporary license that gave him full driving privileges within the state.

The temporary license was good only until the suspension hearing; because Giese is no longer contesting the suspension, he would have to obtain a route-restricted license if he wants to continue driving, said Beth Parks, spokeswoman for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The route-restricted license allows drivers to go to and from work, school or court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment programs, Parks said. If Giese applies for that license, he would have to specify the earliest and latest times he would leave and arrive home, and the counties he would be driving in for work, she said.

In South Carolina last fiscal year, the DMV issued 5,635 temporary and 3,185 route-restricted licenses, department records show.

A temporary license or route-restricted license costs $100, plus there is another $100 fee to reinstate the regular license if the driver successfully completes the suspension period, according to DMV documents.

In addition, Giese must complete a certified alcohol counseling program if he wants his regular license back. The base cost of the program is $500, though it could be more if treatment is required, according to the state Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.

Giese was charged with DUI after Charleston police stopped a car he was driving with Minnesota plates going the wrong way on Market Street in the city’s downtown tourist district about 11:45 p.m. on June 29, an incident report said. A woman who was riding with Giese at the time was not charged.

Giese, who had attended a meeting with other solicitors in Charleston earlier that day, was arrested after failing three of four field sobriety tests, police said. He was taken to the Charleston police station, where he was offered, though he refused to take, a breath test, and was later booked at the Charleston County jail, records show.

How's that you ask? The DUI charges were dismissed and still he is punished with a flurry of fees, driver's license suspensions, and classes. Is there any other crime that is routinely burdened like this when the criminal charges are dismissed.


Post a Comment

Comments are welcome but please do not leave personal information or specific legal questions in the comment field. If you need legal assistance, the best way to get in touch with me is to call my office at 312.944.3973

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome but please do not leave personal information or specific legal questions in the comment field. If you need legal assistance, the best way to get in touch with me is to call my office at 312.944.3973