Some time ago I get a call from a prospective client referred to me by a friend who is a prosecutor. So I come well recommended and presumably knowledgeable in the DUI field. The person calling is an educator who has zillions of meetings to attend. The educator also refused the breath test. I explained that there are no restricted licenses and it is either the interlock or 4 month suspension. There is no other driver available during the 4 month suspension period so the interlock is the only option. The educator just refuses to believe that these are the only 2 alternatives. I direct the educator to the form that was read and signed at the police station with the same language. I explain again that I do as many as 20 DUIs a month and teach it, and that the circumstances of the refusal do not create any issues of inducement or misadvise. I suggest that when there are meetings where people go in a group, that the educator’s car be unavailable that day. The last question was the most interesting and disappointing.
“What happens if I get caught driving a non-interlocked car.” I was genuinely surprised at the immediate decision to cheat. I explained that it also has a 1 year penalty, 12 points, and a possible stay in jail waiting for bond to be posted, and that judges are pissed off when you cheat the interlock system. I should have asked what happens when one of your students get caught cheating on a test or plagiarizing a paper. Can the student explain how important a person the student is, or that the student needed to cheat to get a good grade for the student’s parents or for college. The prospective client is in the business of teaching and shaping the character of children. Getting a DUI is not some character flaw that makes you unworthy to hold a high position. Former President Bush had a substance abuse problem that he dealt with. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas had an alcohol problem at one time. He dealt with it. I’d say they both did pretty well in rising to the top of their professions. I was not the least bit shocked when the educator called to cancel the initial appointment. Somewhere out there is a lawyer who lied and said they could go to an Administrative Hearing and avoid the interlock.
I may eventually hear from the referring prosecutor about how screwed his friend got by allowing someone to get away with saying what the educator wanted to hear as opposed to what the truth was. For some lawyers there is a sucker born every minute. What is the lawyer going to say after the Administrative Law Judge gives the educator the choice of a 4 month suspension or the interlock for a year? I guarantee you the lawyer isn’t going to return the fee. The educator will be too humiliated and embarrassed to call me back.