When it Comes to DUI, Knowing the Law is Not Enough

Driving under the influence is a crime that most people never intend to commit. Nonetheless, every year thousands of drivers in Kansas are arrested and charged with DUI. The crazy part about drunken driving is the people who are arrested know that it is illegal to drive while intoxicated. However, despite knowing the law people still continue to choose to drink and drive. So when it comes to avoiding a DUI charge it is not enough to know that operating a vehicle with a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or more is against the law.

Clearly, knowing the law was not the problem for Missouri attorney, David Murdick. The 36-year old lawyer was sentenced in early March to nine years in prison for the death of Clifton Scott. In September of 2012, Scott, a 15 year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, was at the scene of an accident on Interstate 70. Scott, a motorist assist operator, had just finished off blocking off a portion of the interstate with traffic cones and flares so as to alert other motorists of the accident, when he was struck by Murdick’s car. Murdick also hit Scott’s truck causing it to burst into flames. The 50 year old man and father was killed at the scene. It was later determined that Murdick had a BAC of .184, which is more than twice the legal limit in Missouri. Murdick was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, a crime that carries a sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison. In January of this year, Murdick pled guilty to the charges. The husband and father of three children did not offer any excuses about his decision to drink and drive the night he hit Scott. The family of Clifton Scott urged all motorists not to drink and drive.

Obviously, David Murdick knew that is was against the law to drink and drive. Murdick admitted his responsibility for Mr. Scott’s death at his sentencing. However, all too often motorists choose to drink and drive, potentially putting their own lives and the lives of others in danger. If you are considering drinking, stop and consider the alternatives:

  • Take public transportation: Depending on where you live, there are different forms of public transportation available. Before heading out for the night, take a copy of the bus schedule with you.
  • Call for a ride: If you are not able to legally operate a motor vehicle, call someone for a ride. Maybe a friend or family member can pick you up. If no friends or family are available, you can always call a cab. In some cases a $20 to $60 cab ride can be the difference between leading a normal life and spending 5 to 15 years or more in prison.
  • Walk: If you cannot find a ride, maybe you can simply walk home.
  • Hotel or stay with a friend: If you cannot walk to your house, you can always walk to hotel or crash at a friend’s house for evening.

If you are an attorney or other professional who has been charged with driving while under the influence you need an experienced and skilled DUI attorney. For more than three decades, Kansas DUI Attorney Charles E. Whitman has defended individuals whose licenses and careers depend on a clean criminal record. As a seasoned litigator and skilled DUI defense attorney, Charles E. Whitman will fight to protect your rights and your reputation. Contact the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. At the Whitman Law Offices, we pride ourselves on providing clients with superior legal services.


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