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7th DUI Charge Gets Man Held on $1M Bond

The law in Tennessee aimed at countering driving under the influence can result in harsh penalties. That should come as no great shock to readers. Multiple convictions for DUI tend to compound the penalties.

A second DUI conviction can mean the loss of your vehicle. It can also mean jail time. Typically, individuals arrested and charged with suspected drunk driving or driving while impaired may be required to post a bond in order to gain their release from incarceration until their court date. But rarely are they as steep as was imposed recently by a court in another state.

The suspect being arraigned in the Idaho case was being charged with felony DUI. He had six prior convictions for driving under the influence dating back to 1996. Under that state's laws, the first three were recorded as misdemeanors. The next three went on the man's record as felonies and resulted in prison terms.

This time, the prosecution asked the court to hold the defendant on a bond of $1 million. Coloring the plea from officials was the claim that in addition to allegedly being drunk, the suspect had to be chased by authorities and was caught after running into a power pole and a fence.

The district attorney said she'd never asked for such a high bond in such a case. And the magistrate said he'd never granted such a high bond for any crime. But he said, in this case, the defendant clearly needed to be kept off the streets.

The defendant was scheduled to make an appearance for a preliminary hearing earlier this month, but there's no word at the time this is written as to whether that was held or what the outcome might have been.

Idaho is not Tennessee, and it's not clear that what happened there would happen here. But what is common in both states is that governments are under pressure to be aggressive in prosecuting suspected DUI. That being the case, individuals facing such charges need to be prepared to mount an equally aggressive defense.

Source: Twin Falls Times-News, "Twin Falls Man Gets $1M Bond on 7th DUI Charge, Eluding Deputies," Alison Gene Smith, March 27, 2013