Monday, July 03, 2006

No Breathalyzer, No Plea Deal

In a pointed reference to a plea deal Marion Co. Prosecutor Carl Brizzi's office reached with Nancy Irsay, his Democratic opponent Melina Kennedy appeared at a joint press conference with the former head of MADD, Daniel Hodgkins, to support a proposal which would bar plea deals for suspects who refuse to take a breathalzyer test. Under current Indiana law, a driver who is suspected of driving while under the influence and who refuses to take a breathalyzer test automatically has his/her driver's license suspended for one year. The Star's Richard Walton writes:

While Indiana law requires motorists suspected of driving while intoxicated to take the breath test or face a 1-year suspension of their driver’s license, Hodgkins said some high-profile cases where deals were cut on criminal drunken driving charges have raised doubts about the requirement.

Hodgkins appeared at a news conference Monday in which Melina Kennedy, Democratic candidate for Marion County prosecutor, made the proposal regarding plea deals.

“I’m concerned about people saying that they don’t need to take a Breathalyzer, and that it might actually help their (criminal) case,” she said.

Earlier this year, Brizzi's office allowed Nancy Irsay to cop a plea for reckless driving, even though she was pulled over by police after she sped her car through an intersection at more than 70 mph in a 30-mph zone, causing her car to go airborne. Irsay refused to take a breathalyzer when asked to do so by police.

3 comments:

Fort Wayne Voter said...

Go Melina! Hope that the voters of Marion County finally figure out that they can do much better than their current prosecuting attorney.

brodymurphy said...

That's awesome.

I'm still not sure about Melina, but I like the one system of justice regardless of personal wealth.

I like the No Breath Test, No Plea idea...

Anonymous said...

Just note, this means that every person accused of DUI who does not take a breathalizer test will have to go to trial since there will be no plea offered.

You thought the courts were clogged now. If I were a defense attorney I'd welcome it. I look forward to turning the wheels of justice as slow as possible.