Nearly everyone in Manhattan has heard of Bobby Brown and likely knows of his history with substance abuse. Whitney Houston's former husband has long battled with addictions to alcohol and drugs, and it appears that he has recently been arrested, charged and convicted of driving under the influence. The 44 year old will now be spending 55 days in jail, attending an 18-month alcohol program and paying a fine, among other punishments.
Of course, one of the questions that should be asked is whether the singer was targeted because of his very public struggles with drugs and alcohol, or whether he was truly intoxicated while driving. It is true that Brown pled no contest to the charges, but he has also admitted that he needs help and may have taken the opportunity to attend court-ordered rehabilitation. Regardless, how culpable is someone that has very little control over his or her addiction to alcohol?
If one of the purposes of the criminal justice system is to reform individuals by punishing them for mistakes made, it is important that we only punish those individuals who are truly in control of their actions. Whether it is someone whose actions would otherwise be criminal except for the fact that he or she did not have the mental capacity to understand what he or she was doing or someone whose physical condition prevents him or her from following the law, there should be some exceptions as to who should be held responsible under criminal law.
It remains to be seen if Brown's time in jail and rehabilitation will be enough to break him of his serious addiction to alcohol.
To be charged and convicted of drunk driving in New York City is much more serious than many people may understand. Even if there is no jail time, most drivers will face some kind of fine and will have to deal with a criminal record. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to consult a drunk driving defense attorney if arrested by police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Bobby Brown Sentenced To 55 Days In Jail For DUI," Feb. 26, 2013
If you would like to learn more about the problems that come with drunk driving charges in New York City, please visit our website.