Repeat DWI Offender Exposes Flaw In Judicial System

Repeat DWI offender Exposes Flaw In Judicial System

A repeat DWI offender arrested in Bryant, Arkansas has exposed a major flaw in the legal system when it comes to penalizing and treating alcohol abusers. Sheila Blair, the repeat DWI offender in question, just committed her 11th alcohol related offense and is back on the streets after having spent just 3 days in prison. Blair has been in and out of prison and treatment facilities since 1995. In 2007, Blair was sentenced to 10 years in prison as a result of her 10th DWI conviction, however, she paroled out of prison less than a year later under the emergency relief act. Blair was arrested again in September of 2012 after police caught her drinking in the passenger seat of a friend’s car. In 2004, she was sentenced to 2 years in a treatment facility, but once again, she paroled out after just one year.

The flaw, you may be wondering, is how can someone with 11 DWI related offenses still be out on the streets? The answer can be found in Arkansas’ 5 year rule, which says that if the violator has gone 5 years without any DWI conviction, their next DWI related offense is considered their 1st offense. Ken Casady, the Saline County Prosecutor, said “If Miss Blair were to get another DWI, be arrested for driving, despite everything that is in her past, her charge would be DWI first offense” and “She’s had an extraordinary amount of trouble and you know this might be an indication that everything the system has provided her has not helped“. Many people would agree with Casady that the current legal system my not actually be beneficial to a repeat DWI offender. With regard to Blair’s current misdemeanor charge, since she violated her parole, the parole board could send her back to prison to finish the rest of her 10 year sentence. Although, if she goes to court and pleads not guilty, the maximum sentence she could receive would be just 30 days. The question is, will she serve the entirety of whatever punishment she receives or will she once again be released early?

If you have been arrested for driving drunk, contact an experienced and skilled Arkansas DWI attorney for legal assistance.

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