Once again a recent news story here in the state of Indiana points to the fact that all potentially make mistakes when it comes to brushes with the law. From my vantage point what is significant is the track record each of us has in recognizing this seemingly obvious reality.
Within the spector of drunk driving defense I have been privliged to have been entrusted to represent people from many divergent cultures and experiences. However, when asked my opinion on defending the interests of those previously holding themself out as one capable of publicly judging others, my personal misgivings to judge hypocrisy might get in the way of reasoned consideration.
Each and every one of us is owed a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances behind an arrest. Public figures and officials can in fact be targeted by law enforcement often at the instigation of publicity seeking news broadcaters. As a result, initial news reports can often be taken with a grain of salt as to the validity of such public allegations; criminal charges that can otherwise tarnish the reputation of an otherwise upstanding former public official.
The arrest of the former Speaker of The Indiana House for owi in Indianapolis occurred as a result of his allegedly running into a unattended pay kiosk within the Circle City Mall parking garage. I can speak with personal experience that this particular exit path within this garage can be problematic to navigate even for the most careful of drivers.
News reports have reported a failed portable breath test at twice the legal limit in Indiana. However, not reported is the result of any admissible breath or blood test evidence that would serve as relevant evidence toward the furtherence of a dui prosecution. It will be significant to learn the later results of a blood draw administered in the case and whether the press will as eagerly report a result below the legal limit of .08 as the present arrest investigation.
Should later evidence provide probable cause to substantiate a successful dui prosecution, it will allow yet another learning experience for those in our state legislature entrusted to enact criminal laws and penalties.
I have purposely chosen not to report the name of this individual unless and until facts warrant a conviction in the pending investigation. To the best of my knowledge the former speaker in question is not warranting further scorn as one who made it a practice to judge others through legislative action or declaration.
However, let these continuing reported events serve as a needed and consistant wake up call to legislators and those within the judiciary; a reminder that our system of jurisprudence should be a compassionate one toward those who make one time lapses in judgement no mattter their station in life.
To those using the bully pulpit of public office to serve in judgement of others and the passage of oppressive legisaltive punishment for first time dui offenses in Indiana, please know that the laws you pass today could be tageting your own fallibility tomorrow.