The Charge: Driving While Intoxicated

The Record: On Dec. 15, 2005, Alan McDonald “did operate or was in physical control of a vehicle while [his] blood contained at least .08 percent or more, by weight of alcohol, or while .38 micrograms or more of alcohol were contained in 1 millimeter of the individual’s breath, or while the individual’s urine contained at least .10 percent or more by weight of alcohol.” According to other statements in the court, McDonald got in a car accident at 12:15 a.m. He didn’t submit to a blood-alcohol test until two hours after his crash, at which point his blood-alcohol content was between .21 and .20.

Convicted: 1/11/2008


Lawyer: The night of the incident, McDonald found out he had hepatitis C and “was very distraught and started drinking,” says his attorney, Harry Suissa. Then, Suissa extols McDonald’s character and consistency: He’s been married 22 years, served for four years in the Army, and has been regularly attending AA meetings. “He tells me he hasn’t had a drink for months and months,” says Suissa. In addition, McDonald has held the same job for a trucking company for eight years. He earns $490 a week. “If he serves 30 days straight, he’ll lose his job.”

Defendant: “I lost my mind that day when I [found out] I had hepatitis C,” says McDonald. “It’s like I’m dying right in front of my eyes. If I could take that night back myself, I really would. I really injured myself very badly that night. I had five broken ribs and a collapsed lung.”


The Sentence: 21 days in jail, which he’s able to serve over weekends. $500 fine. $100 to the Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Fund.