While claiming to be ‘drunker than a skunk’ would certainly not be advised by a Michigan DUI attorney, that is exactly what one woman recently did as she was being arrested for driving under the influence in Washington. Jacqueline Luzzani of North Sound had been arrested for DUI 10 times prior to her March 5 arrest in Snohomish County.
Luzzani, 58, is a “danger to the public” according to the judge, who listed off the defendant’s long list of DUI offenses as she sat listening. Luzzani was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt by a state trooper on Wednesday. According to court documents, she told the officer after being pulled over that she was ‘drunker than a skunk.’ The officer did note that the defendant smelled of alcohol, her speech was slurred, and her eyes bloodshot.
Because Luzzani’s driving record indicted she has six DUI cases which are pending and four prior DUI charges, an ignition interlock is required for any vehicle she is driving. However, there was no device in the car she was driving; the kirotv.com news report stated that March 6 was the third time Luzzani was caught driving a car without the ignition interlock device.
Some of the offenses the judge listed off included negligent driving, hit-and-run unattended, and driving under the influence. Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis said that “We’re all extremely fortunate that she hasn’t seriously hurt or killed somebody.”
In Washington, a fourth DUI conviction in 10 years is considered a felony; however, Luzzani had pleaded at least one of the DUI charges against her down to negligent driving, so it was not clear whether this offense would be considered a felony or misdemeanor. The prosecutor requested that Luzzani’s bail be set at $15,000 given the defendant’s refusal to stop driving drunk and driving history.
In Michigan, a third DUI during a lifetime is charged as a felony. This means the defendant will face extremely harsh penalties if convicted, which may include a maximum of 5 years in prison, fines of up to $5,000, driver’s license revocation, mandatory alcohol treatment, driver responsibility fees, and more.
Driving under the influence is a criminal offense. Regardless of whether it is your first offense or you have been arrested many times, it is critical you obtain the legal guidance and support of a skilled Michigan DUI defense lawyer who will work vigorously to obtain good results.