On June 16 of this year, 51-year-old Joseph Robert Livingood of White Pigeon was stopped as he drove away from the Four Winds Casino in Dowagiac; his blood alcohol level at the time was 0.18, more than twice the legal limit according to an article at the South Bend Tribune. On Friday, August 14, Livingood pleaded guilty to a third offense DUI. He was sentenced in Cass Circuit Court to between two and five years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $1,658 in fines, costs, and restitution.
According to the report, Livingood has been arrested for drunken driving in 12 jurisdictions across several states. In addition to Michigan, he has been arrested for DUI in Illinois, Mississippi, New York, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The defendant claimed he had never been offered treatment for his alcohol problem. At court on Friday, Cass Circuit Judge Michael Dodge noted that Livingood had a long criminal history including six prison terms for nine felony convictions, although the specific crimes were not revealed.
In the state of Michigan, anyone who has been convicted of driving under the influence more than twice will face 3rd offense charges, regardless of whether it is the third offense or twelfth. A third DUI offense is a felony, which means the defendant will face harsher penalties, including certain jail time. Other punishment may include driver’s license revocation, steep fines, community service, and possibly vehicle immobilization. The court may also order the defendant to have an ignition interlock device installed on his/her vehicle. Felony DUI is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison.
As you can see, a felony or third-offense DUI is a very serious matter. Not only is a person’s freedom in danger, but his or her career, reputation, and family relationships are at risk as well. A criminal record also has a negative impact on a person’s life in terms of employment opportunities, housing, and more.
Whether you have been arrested on charges of driving under the influence for the first time or have been charged numerous times, it is critical to work with a seasoned Michigan DUI attorney who will protect your legal rights and provide the legal support and guidance you need to ensure the best possible outcome.