Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Verdict: Don't Drink and Drive

My civil duty as a juror ended yesterday. The trial lasted longer than anticipated. Let me tell you, it's good to be home!

The verdict was guilty for a woman accused of driving under the influence. Not only was she above a .08 (the legal limit) - but she was four times the limit. Her blood alcohol tested at a .33 after her arrest. At .3 a person is in a stupor. At .4 they're in a coma, at .5 they'll die.

How was this possibly contested, you may ask? The defense tried to discredit the only witness to the driving incident. In the end, we felt sure of the defendant's guilt. Sadly, after the trial, we found out that this is her second conviction for drunk driving. She's made a series of mistakes and we can only hope that she'll get help before someone gets hurt.

Though I was away from my daughter most days last week - and missed her terribly, I actually enjoyed my time on a jury. It was fascinating. There was law, there was order, there was humor and there was drama. It was highly educational and difficult to decide someone else's guilt.

As I sat eating lunch with my daughter today, she smiled at me while wearing her pink rhinestone-studded sunglasses at the kitchen table. Yup, there's no place I'd rather be. And I'm relieved to know that there is one less drunk driver on the road.


Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow said...

Good for you for fulfilling your civic duty! And I agree - such a relief to have one less drunk driver on the road. You didn't know she had a prior conviction until after the trial? Seems like that would have come up...?

Diane said...

We weren't allowed to know about the prior conviction. It was considered prejudicial. The whole process was so interesting!

simplebeauty said...

I'm so glad that you are home with your daughter too! I'm sure she is happy to have her mom back. My first real job was in a court house. I worked in a court clerks office for four and a half years. Let me say that it was not my favorite job, however, "knowing" the system, without being in the system, is a very good thing!! Thank you for doing your civic duty.

PS One of my jobs every Monday morning was to pull the names of the lucky men and woman who were to be the Jury Members ;O) and then we would wait until later that day to hear all the reasons why they couldn't do jury duty!

Jenny said...

I served on a jury for a DUI case about 5 years ago. I was newly pregnant and felt like throwing up most of the week. gotta love morning sickness.

lera said...

They would never allow me serve on a jury for drunk driving. I would be biased. My grandfather was killed by a drunk driver (who then went out and killed ANOTHER person, while drunk driving).

Those people lack proper judgement. They deserve the punishment they receive. They are putting my children at risk every time they drink and get behind the wheel. I am not sympathetic to them at all.

casch said...

Glad your civic duty is over. I missed you, and I know an adorable toddler who missed you too. Course, I'll betcha the grandparents are now a little lonely.

Danielle said...

I've never served jury duty...the only time I was called I had just delivered a baby and wouldn't leave him!

I just had a friend from church serve and she really enjoyed the process as well.

Glad your back!

Mir said...

I have many questions about this experience ... Mostly - How on earth did they drag this case out so many days! I can't wait to ask you more questions ... but will wait til we are face to face. I am happy Charlotte got her mom back (though I know my parents enjoyed babysitting!) and that you got to go on your trip!

Anonymous said...

I served on a jury once. I enjoyed it. Very interesting and a nice change of pace.

It annoys me when people try to get out of it for lame reasons. But I'm a hard-nose. lol.

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