Monday, July 2, 2012

Wine, Beer And Vodka

An Illinois attorney has filed a motion seeking disbarment by consent for conduct arising from a single alcohol-related driving offense:

[On] April 6, 2012, Movant was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI)...On the evening of his arrest, Movant had consumed approximately two glasses of wine, two vodka tonics and four 16 ounce beers. At the time of his arrest, Movant refused to submit to field sobriety and blood-alcohol concentration testing. During the traffic stop, Movant falsely advised the arresting officer, more than one time, that he had not consumed any alcoholic beverages that evening.

On May 14, 2012, Movant pled guilty to an amended charge of reckless driving, in violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-503(a), in case no. 12 DT 733. Movant was sentenced to 18 months of supervised supervision, ordered to complete drug alcohol evaluation and program, submit to random drug/alcohol testing and assessed fines and costs in the amount of $3,640.

It is, in my experience, unusual for such violations to lead to disbarment. (Mike Frisch)

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On first glance and without knowing anything about the situation, the drunk driving incident seemed minor compared to other crimes for which attorneys have been merely reprimanded. Why do you think this was different?

Posted by: AH | Jul 2, 2012 2:45:58 PM

Excellent question.

When an attorney consents to disbarment, the underlying facts are often not developed as fully as in a contested case.

Given that Illinois will mitigate bar sanctions if the attorney is a recovering alcoholic, I suspect there is a lot more to this story than reflected in the motion for consent disbarment.

Posted by: Mike Frisch | Jul 2, 2012 7:39:44 PM

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