Jefferey Lee Palmer’s Subaru Outback had a wild ride on Aug. 1st. The East Idaho resident made things just a little more complicated on Teton Pass in Wyoming, where he crashed his car but couldn’t remember a single thing about the incident. Where was the car? And when did the accident happen? The details of the accident were murky because Palmer was driving with a BAC level FOUR TIMES the legal limit in Idaho.
The legal limit in Wyoming is set at 0.08% BAC. Anyone driving with a BAC over that limit can be charged with a DUI and convicted. The penalties in Idaho are especially steep if a person is under 21 years old, but they are just as steep when a person drives as recklessly as Palmer did during his visit to Wyoming. The 36-year-old east Idaho resident had a BAC .315%. This concentration is not just four times the legal limit in Wyoming but is also considered life threatening levels of intoxication. Palmer shouldn’t have been on the road. He should have been in a hospital.
The deputy described a terrifying scene on the road. When he pulled Palmer over, he saw damage on the passenger side of the car. Suspecting intoxication due to the smell of alcohol on Palmer’s person, the deputy immediately began questioning Palmer, expecting that he had been in an accident and still kept on driving. The first, scariest thought is that this man might have already injured someone else on the road and just kept going.
Teton County Sheriff’s Sargent Todd Stayon explained: “When asked for his driver’s license he pulled his license out of his wallet and handed his wallet to the officer. He admitted to consuming a lot of alcohol.” Palmer was a visitor in Wyoming, having come from Victor, Idaho. The defendant admitted that he’d been in a wreck but simply couldn’t remember where or if anyone else had been hurt. The alcohol in question was 3/4 of a bottle of Crown Royal, a very strong whiskey.
Piecing the accident together, officers were able to find parts of the wreck near Phillips Canyon. Fortunately, the only other thing injured in the wreck was a guardrail that Palmer had hit with his car. The outcome was a trip to the hospital where he was treated for a dangerous BAC level and then booked into jail on a count of DUI, Failure to report an accident, and failure to maintain a lane of travel.
The high BAC levels, in this case, present a particular problem to Mr. Palmer. Higher BAC levels sometimes signal a felony DUI, especially if there has been a prior offense to this. As of now, it’s not known if this is Palmer’s first offense DUI, but even if it is, the startling BAC levels could present a legal hangover for Palmer. Add to this the multiple offenses in this single DUI arrest – the failure to maintain a lane and failure to report an accident – and you’ve got a defendant who desperately needs a lawyer to navigate the specifics of this case.
The fact is that Palmer’s BAC level suggests that he might have a serious problem with alcohol, perhaps even full blown alcoholism. For defendants like this, prosecutors are sometimes willing to work with defenders to get the person help. Treatment in a residential medical facility for alcoholism may be a possible punishment – if it can be called that for someone who needs help – for Palmer. Otherwise, he’s likely facing license suspension, jail time, and possibly hours of DUI and alcoholism and substance abuse classes before he will be able to get his license back.
Sites like DUIwise would have a lot to say about Palmer’s case. DUIwise.com helps defendants in DUI arrests find out their best options in defending themselves in the case. Needless to say, a case like Palmer’s is going to require extensive legal help and advice. This is a terrifying example of what can happen when someone’s alcohol use spirals out of control. Not only could Palmer have killed himself or someone else on the road, but he might have died from the consumption of that much alcohol at once. This was not just a vehicular risk but a risk to his own health and life.
Even the most severe case of substance abuse can be treated with the residential medical facilities in the United States. An Idaho resident such as Palmer will find plenty of places to seek help and will be able to get help if he agrees to it. In cases like this where he’s obtained a DUI at a startling high BAC level, he will likely face court ordered treatments and perhaps even AA meetings in his future. Even if he’s given probation, he’ll face a lot of treatment if his case goes forward.
As pointed out on sites like DUIwise, it’s possible to get a case even as blatant as this thrown out because of procedural errors or errors during the arrest. Depending on what the facts of the case are, cases like this can be thrown out if an officer fails to read rights, administer a breathalyzer test the proper way, or fails to adhere to other rules and regulations that must be carried out during a DUI arrest. Even if the case is sound in a procedural manner, defendants like Palmer can benefit from putting their cases in the hands of a skilled Idaho DUI attorney. These attorneys are able to take even the most impossible of cases and work with prosecutors so that a defendant like Palmer gets the best possible outcome from his case.
In cases where the defendant is obviously suffering from a substance abuse problem, it’s possible to get this person back on the path to sobriety and living safely among others. Palmer’s lawyer will likely seek some type of plea bargain that includes getting help for the defendant. As of now, Palmer faces an uncertain future.