Right now, the focus is on money and sports…
But the unasked and unanswered question facing Gary Pinkel on his DUI bust this week is very much about what lies ahead of him – not in the court of public opinion – but in the court of law. To that end, let’s take a look at what the Mizzou football coach is likely to be facing., according to missouridwi.pro.
"ISSUE ONE: The Missouri Implied Consent Proceeding: Under Missouri’s implied consent law, any person who operates a motor vehicle is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s breath, blood, saliva or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of the person’s if the arresting officer has reasonable grounds to believe that they have committed a DWI.
"This law requires you to submit to a chemical (breath) test when requested by a law enforcement officer following a lawful DWI arrest. If you refused to submit to the test, your license was likely revoked for one year. If you failed a chemical test (BAC of 0.08 % or greater (0.02 % or greater for persons under 21)), you likely face a 30 day suspension followed by 60 days of restricted driving privileges. [Note: This period is longer if you had a prior DWI type incident in the past five years.]"
That said, it’s pretty much a given that Pinkel was tested and failed that test.
However, we don’t have to gaze too far back to former Kansas City Star publisher Mark Zieman‘s wife Rhonda Chris Lokeman that in even a seemingly egregious DUI incident and arrest that where there’s a will, the system can be gamed.
So let’s proceed…
"If you had a valid Missouri drivers license at the time of your arrest, the officer probably seized your license and issued you a 15 day temporary driving permit. You have 15 days from the date of your Notice of Suspension/Revocation is issued (usually your date of arrest) to request an administrative hearing to challenge this suspension / revocation. If timely requested, a hearing is scheduled by the Department of Revenue. The court may issue a stay order allowing you to continue to drive until the court issues its final order on your challenge.
"If the court rules in your favor, the suspension / revocation is canceled and your license is returned. If the court denies your challenge, you will serve the remaining time for the original revocation period. You will then need to meet the reinstatement requirements."
Chances are, given Pinkel’s stature in the state, he’s already well on his way where this remedy is concerned.
Now on to Issue Two.
"The Missouri DWI / Excessive BAC Criminal Offense: Separate from the administrative (implied consent) suspension /revocation is the criminal charge for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving with excessive blood alcohol content (BAC)."
Now the caveat:
"Important: The implied consent revocation / suspension and the criminal DWI case are completely separate proceedings from one another."
As a first offender – unless he can wiggle out of it like Lokeman – Pinkel probably faces the following:
"If you failed a breath test (or other chemical test), you generally face a shorter suspension / revocation (depending on your five year DWI history)."
The kicker: " If you are convicted of the Missouri DWI offense or Excessive BAC offense, you will also lose your Missouri drivers license (or your right to drive in Missouri if you don’t have a valid Missouri license) for 30 days followed by 60 days of restricted driving privileges."
In either case, it’s likely Pinkel would be granted what’s called an LDP or limited driving privileges to go to and from work and/or conduct his business such as recruiting. However, it won’t be easy for him to get his mitts on a rental car when he’s out trolling for players, say in Texas. Not without a valid driver’s license to show.
So it could prove messy. Especially given that there’s usually a 30 to 90 day waiting period for an LDP.
Which brings us to the penalty phase of the matter. Typical penalties include the following:
- 30 day Missouri license suspension followed by 60 days restricted license;
- jail possible but not required;
- possible ignition interlock device;
- 8 points added to driving record.
Can Pinkel bargain the charges down to a lesser offense?
"Perhaps. Negotiating a client’s case with the prosecutor is something that your Missouri lawyer can advise you about. Sometimes a plea to a lesser type offense is possible. Sometimes a suspended imposition of sentence is possible. This SIS can result in the dismissal of the DWI charge upon successful completion of the program requirements. In some cases, your only option will be to plead to the DWI / Excessive BAC offense or take your case to trial."
Possible slam time is dependent on Pinkel’s driving record and the blood alcohol level he tested at. Oh, and which court he’s tried in and which judge he gets.
Can Pinkel dodge the DUI bullet? Maybe. There are lots of good lawyers out there, connected ones too.