Lawmakers Getting DWIs

1 decade 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, October 30 2007 Oct 30, 2007 Tuesday, October 30, 2007 10:01:13 AM CDT October 30, 2007 in News

An attorney says lawmakers aren't getting more drunk driving charges than other people, but the charges might hit harder.

Curtis Hanrahan knows how DWI charges can affect politicians. He defended Democratic Representative Ray Salva when he faced drunk driving charges after a February arrest this year.

"As a public figure, as someone who makes the very laws they're now being accused of violating, it puts them in a circumstance where it initially looks like they're being hypocrites, like there's hypocrisy going on. And so there is a political component to the DWI that is not present with everyone else,"said Hanrahan.

Salva plead guilty in May to driving while intoxicated. Hanrahan says going to trial can hurt public officials because a trial is played out in public.

"So much of the time a politician is, more or less, coerced into maybe entering a guilty plea that you wouldn't ordinarily do for a client that is not a public figure, simply to make the political consequences less disastrous."

As far as Graham's case, Hanrahan has been following the situation, one he finds interesting.

Hanrahan says DWI arrests are more common for everyone during winter months.

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