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The Charge: Driving Under the Influence

The Record: On July 14, Joseph Allen “did operate or was in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor, a drug, or the combination of intoxicating liquor and a drug.” According to statements made in the court, Allen has a number of driving infractions on his record, including a similar conviction in 2004. When officers questioned Allen the night of his arrest, he had “watery eyes” and a “blank stare.” He told police he had three drinks but failed multiple sobriety tests, including one where he was asked to take nine steps but took 20 instead.

Convicted: 1/11/08


Lawyer: “My client is at a crossroads,” states Allen’s lawyer, K.L. Wellington. “He just turned 30. When I met him in October, he was ready to accept responsibility and punishment [for his crime]. He’s a married man, a father…I spoke to his mother—there’s some history of this [behavior] in his family. He’s currently taking Antabuse. He has not re-offended.” Wellington acknowledges that his client does not have a strong record but says that given the state of his life—his age, his family life, and the fact that he’s “gainfully employed” as a software technician­­—he has many reasons to quit drinking.

Defendant: “I can’t hide anything anymore. My job knows [about my charge]. They aided me in my treatment,” says Allen. “I almost lost my wife, almost lost my job. I’m deeply sorry.”


The Sentence: “I hear what you’re saying,” says Judge Marisa Demeo, “but I can’t ignore the record you’ve established. At 30, I can’t say you’re so young you didn’t know any better.” Thirty days in jail. Eighteen months of supervised probation. Five days of community service. Allen requests to serve his jail time over a series of weekends, so it does not conflict with his work schedule. Demeo denies him.