A conviction for drunk driving can have serious repercussions. Even in when any sentence and fine from a DUI conviction have been completed, a conviction can enhance the sentence of any future similar criminal convictions. The enhanced sentences can be much more severe than the defendant would have received if there had not been a prior conviction on the books.
This type of enhancement effected the sentence of one when he was charged after a fatal accident, but this motorist serving time for convictions of driving while intoxicated and vehicular homicide may soon see his sentence reduced. His sentence for the 2008 death of his 24-year-old female passenger was enhanced because of his prior 2005 DUI conviction.
In the 2008 incident, the motorist admitted falling asleep at the wheel, and registered a blood alcohol level of .13, in excess of a legal limit of .08. The accident occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. The motorist’s car turned upside down after veering off the road and colliding with several trees.
The judge sentenced him to 8.5 years of incarceration, referring to the prior 2005 DUI conviction as a justification for this sentence.
A court has overturned the 2005 DUI conviction, however, finding that there was insufficient testimony and evidence to support it. A police officer, testifying at a retrial of the 2005 case, was unable to recall details surrounding the arrest. Given the overturning of the 2005 conviction, the motorist has been granted a resentencing hearing on the 2008 case, at which the sentence may be reduced.
Source: South Jersey Local News “Jail time could be reduced for Shamong man convicted in ’08 DUI death” Dubravka Kolumbic, Aug. 25, 2011