Matthew Cordle, the Ohio man dubbed the "YouTube DUI Confessor," has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison and a lifetime loss of driving privileges for aggravated vehicular homicide.
In his video confession, which has drawn more than 2 million hits on YouTube, Cordle "accept[ed] full responsibility" for his actions and was prepared to face a lengthy prison sentence, reports The Columbus Dispatch.
But will he actually have to serve the full sentence?
Early Release May Be Possible
DUI offenders who have caused injury or death to another can face stiff prison sentences. The bulk of Cordle's lengthy sentence stemmed from his aggravated vehicular homicide conviction. But it's entirely possible that he won't serve the full term of his sentence.
One way Cordle may get out earlier is if he becomes eligible for parole or parole-like release.
In Ohio, those sentenced to less than 10 years in prison can petition for judicial release. The timing for judicial release eligibility varies depending upon the level of the felony offense and the duration of the sentence imposed.
Apart from judicial release, the state of Ohio's understaffed and overcrowded prisons could also spell an early release for Cordle.
Lifetime Suspension of Driver's License
Many states allow for the suspension of a drunken driver's license after a first-time DUI offense. The duration of a license suspension or revocation varies widely by jurisdiction, as well as by the nature of the offense.
Under Ohio law, Cordle's aggravated vehicular homicide conviction required a Class 1 suspension, which spans a driver's lifetime.
A Lifetime of Guilt
In the end, the prison sentence and license suspension pales in comparison to the unbearable burden Cordle must endure for the rest of his life: the heavy burden of his self-flagellating conscience.
"The true punishment is simply living, living with the knowledge that I took an innocent life," said Cordle, according to the Dispatch. "That pain and weight will never go away."
- Matthew Cordle Sentenced: Ohio man who confessed to killing man while driving drunk gets 6 1/2 years in prison (CBS News)
- YouTube DUI Confessor Pleads Not Guilty, for Now (FindLaw's Blotter)
- DUI Sentencing (FindLaw)
- Can You Get DUI Probation Instead of Jail? (FindLaw's Blotter)