Chief Judge’s Son, Paralyzed, Now Charged with DUI

This is a story that is quite controversial in Jacksonville and raises some interesting issues.
When a DUI crash injures the driver permanently, confining him to a life in a wheelchair, should he be charged with DUI? And although it shouldn’t matter, the person in question happens to be the son of a Chief Judge.

The 25-year-old driver was driving toward Jacksonville Beach last December, when he tried to exit off J. Turner Butler Boulevard onto the Marsh Landing Parkway exit. The young man flipped his truck and he was ejected from the vehicle. He was taken by life-flight to the hospital and spent months clinging to life. No one knew if he had permanent brain damage.

Police say his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit at .203 at the time of the crash. A beer can was found at the scene, next to his wallet, but finding a beer can on the side of the road is not an unusual occurrence.

Now his attorney says the state attorney’s office is following some bad advice in charging this young driver. A prominent DUI attorney in Jacksonville representing the accused says he can’t understand why someone, now a paraplegic for the rest of his life would still face charges.
Not wanting to look like she is giving the judge’s son a pass, the prosecutor waited until the young man got out of the hospital to file charges. “She is not going to prosecute someone solely because of who they are,” said her office.

The accused in this incident is pleading not guilty.

Our condolences go out to the judge and his family for this tragic turn of events.

Unfortunately a previous DUI charge in 2007 was dropped. Perhaps if the young driver had been prosecuted then, this situation would not have repeated itself, this time with tragic and permanent consequences.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent drunk driver, you may be able to seek compensation for loss of wages, pain and suffering, and medical treatment. In the tragic even that a loved one’s life is lost, surviving family members who are affected financially by the death may also be able to seek compensation from negligent parties. Contact the skilled Jacksonville car accident attorneys today for a free consultation of your auto accident personal injury or wrongful death case.

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