DUI Panel Presents to Warren Air Force Base
May 1st, 2017
Cheyenne Man Gets Prison Time for Felony DUI
Cheyenne man gets prison time for felony DUI
By Sarah Zoellick, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Oct 5, 2016
CHEYENNE – A Cheyenne man with nine lifetime driving under the influence of alcohol convictions on his criminal record is heading to prison. Dion A. Johnson, 50, was sentenced Monday in Laramie County District Court to spend three to five years in prison for his latest felony DUI offense. DUIs can be charged as felonies rather than misdemeanors in Wyoming if the person has at least three prior convictions of the crime in the past 10 years. The maximum penalty for the crime is seven years in prison. District Judge Steven Sharpe told Johnson the sentence he handed down is “very lenient” considering his criminal history. “You have a long history of drinking and driving, which created a certain risk to the public,” the judge said. Sharpe said Johnson’s blood alcohol level of 0.34 in the latest incident – which is three times the legal driving limit of 0.08 – is indicative of someone who has an extreme drinking problem. He told Johnson he has a right to drink himself to death, but no right to drink someone else to death.
November 28th, 2016
Felony DUI offender gets probation
Courtesy wyomingnews.com, June 14, 2016
CHEYENNE – If Justin R. Bickerstaff fails to comply with his probation during the next five years, he could end up spending quite a long time behind bars. Laramie County District Judge Steven Sharpe sentenced Bickerstaff, 46, on Monday to spend five years on probation, with an underlying prison term of five to seven years for committing a felony driving under the influence of alcohol offense.
August 29th, 2016
Wyoming Supreme Court rules enhanced DUI penalties unlawful
Courtesy Wyoming Tribune Eagle/wyomingnews.com
The Wyoming Supreme Court on June 10 voided a Laramie municipal ordinance requiring jail time for certain DUI offenders, ruling the enhanced penalties violate state law. In 2010, the Laramie City Council adopted ordinance 10.24.030(H), which established an “aggravated offender” designation for people convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.15, as measured within “two hours after the time of driving following a lawful arrest resulting from a valid traffic stop.” Under the ordinance, first offenders faced a minimum sentence of seven days in jail, while second or subsequent offenders were required to spend a minimum of 30 days in jail. The Supreme Court’s decision determined the ordinance conflicts with the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways, a section of state law that includes DUI statutes, claiming the act is intended to be consistently and uniformly applied throughout Wyoming. “The state statutes governing DWUI offenders do not include enhanced sentences for an aggravated offender category, nor do they require a mandatory minimum jail sentence based on the BAC of a first-time offender,” the decision states.
August 29th, 2016
Study: DUI, Drug courts reduce risk of re-arrest
CHEYENNE – On average, a graduate of Laramie County’s DUI Court program was arrested more than eight times before he or she started the program. Post-graduation, they have been arrested an average of 0.32 times per person. “We’re getting people that are not committing any further crimes when they’re coming out of this program,” Drug Court and DUI Court Director Kurt Zunker said. “I don’t know if any of the criminal justice programs that operate in this county can say that,” he continued. “People who come out of these programs are becoming productive members of our community, so that’s a big deal to me.” Zunker gave a presentation Wednesday evening at the Laramie County Library. He focused on a study he recently conducted to determine program graduates’ recidivism rate, or their risk of committing new crimes. “Are we using these programs to the maximum benefit in the community? Probably not,” Zunker said after the presentation. “We shouldn’t have any openings in either program, but I have openings in both; and when you look at that arrest data – that should speak for itself.” Zunker examined Drug Court graduates admitted to the program between July 2009 and December 2014 and DUI Court graduates who were admitted between March 2010 and October 2014. Numbers show that the Drug Court graduates had an average of 4.8 arrests before they started the program. During the program, they had an average had 0.08 arrests per person. Post-graduation, they have a per-person arrest average of 0.4. “The results, in my opinion, are pretty impressive,” Zunker said. “They are almost arrest-free once they graduate the program.”
November 5th, 2015
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