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Dr. Unk, the Drunk Doc, Pleads Guilty – Is Sentenced

By: Steve Magas, March 24, 2014

Dr. Unk, the DrUnk Doctor who ran down a cyclist last year, was sentenced recently. You may recall that I started following this case shortly after Dr. Unk drove off the road, and into/over a cyclist.

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Dr. Unk was driving northbound on U.S. 23 in her 2007 Chrysler Pacifica.  According to the police report Dr. Unk “…traveled off the right side of the road and stuck …” Mr. Schiavone, who was riding along the berm.

Dr. Unk was arrested – witnesses detected a “severe” odor of alcohol. She blew a 0.17% BAC. She didn’t remember where her car was after the crash.  The car, as you can see, suffered some significant damage.

From the Columbus Dispatch article [which I can't access] it says, “A Worthington doctor was sentenced to 15 days in jail and 400 hours of community service for driving drunk and hitting a cyclist in Delaware County in September 2012.” You can read the Fox story here. The sentencing order is not online yet.

Dr. Unk entered a guilty plea to a felony.  Her medical license is currently under suspension.

I read the pleadings, including the Sentencing Memo, filed by Dr. Unk’s attorney. I wanted to know what caused the judge to think a two week jail was sufficient for a drunk professional who ran off the road, and ran over a cyclist, severely injuring the rider.

Her attorney argued that Dr. Unk had tried to reach out to the cyclist, who didn’t want contact with her. She is attending AA mtgs, went through a Rehab program and is working with the Medical Board. She presented numerous letters of support – from doctors, people associated with her treatment program, friends, church folks.

I dunno- it get it, but I’m not buying two weeks.  I understand that she’s remorseful, that she’s taking steps to get hep, and that she’s trying to move forward on a positive path… I’m glad she stuck around after the crash [as anyone with a SOUL would do] and that she allowed the drug testing and cooperated with the process… like MANY people do who get caught driving drunk … I’m glad she settled all the civil claims, the money claims-   she’s a bit of the “model” defendant, from all appearances…

Yet…

Fifteen days… seems so… inadequate…

To me, drunk driving is serious business… drunk driving that causes the drinker/driver to take a huge Pacifica off the road and onto the berm is troubling… She drove drunk all the way to the crash site-  she could have killed people, smashed into cars or pedestrians… she ended up driving that big car off the road,  into and over a guy on a bike, causing significant, serious injuries…  to me, should be punishable by more than “fifteen days” – a couple months, maybe?  180 days? Let her out a couple months early?  At least she spends some time away –

Fifteen days is a bit of a slap… to the cyclist and his family… fifteen days… that’s like a doc’s vacation, not a punishment for almost killing someone because you drove while you were impaired… sheesh…

 

 

Printed from: http://www.ohiobikelawyer.com/bike-law-101/2014/03/dr-unk-the-drunk-doc-pleads-guilty-is-sentenced/ .
© 2014.

10 Comments   »

  • Khal Spencer says:

    Disgusting example of our tiered system of justice–bought and paid for by the entitled class.

  • Todd Williams says:

    Really, example of our tiered system of justice? How about an example of how acceptable it is to hit cyclists? I got run over by a minority with no assets. Guess what? No ticket, no nothing. He gets off scot-free while I have injuries I will deal with the rest of my life. Trying to make this a socioeconomic issue is very misguided.

  • JIm Guenther says:

    The justice system is very lenient to drivers that hit cyclists.
    I’m in Denver. In my case I was hit while in a crosswalk. The driver claims she did not see me. It was 2pm. full sun. I was wearing a hi viz jacket. What was she doing other than driving?
    Her penalty, 78 hours of community service and restitution.
    I suffered a fractured pelvis, lacerated ear and much road rash. My wife lost her job to take care of me. It’s been 5 months and I am still not healed. PT is helping alot.
    Cheers
    Jim

  • Donna Bush says:

    One thing the judicial system seems to forget…there’s a human being on that bike. It’s not just a “cyclist”…its a HUMAN BEING. So I wonder…A gun or a car…one gets murder or attempted murder (for example), the other a slap on the wrist? Hmmmm :(

  • Steve Magas says:

    “Car” crimes lack the “intent” that gun crimes have. With a gun, they are rarely “accidental” – and if they are the punishments are a lot less. With cars, there is a “there but for the grace of God” thought, I think. It’s easier for some to brush off the results of someone’s carelessness in a car. I’ve argued for years that until legislatures recognize that a two ton bowling can kill or maim with one SECOND of inattention the “crimes” which lead to death will continue to be under-punished.

    Now, in this case, there was a ‘model’ defendant – someone who said and did all the “right” things after she was caught – enrolled, participated in a program, trying to clean up her act – but fifteen DAYS? Sends the wrong message…

  • Donna Bush says:

    I have to agree Steve…15 days is just plain stupidity on the part of the judicial system.

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