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Former Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Josh Kuiper was sued earlier this year after an alleged DUI crash injured another individual. In addition to the civil suit, he was charged criminally, and Kuiper resigned from his position.
However, the civil suit against Kuiper has gotten a whole lot more interesting since the plaintiff has now added three new defendants under a dram shop theory of liability. Kuiper allegedly stopped at three different local downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan establishments, drank at each, then drove away. What's more is that the former prosecutor was allegedly drinking to celebrate the retirement of a fellow prosecutor with other colleagues.
While a DUI may not necessarily be the end of a legal career, Kuiper allegedly drove his pick-up the wrong way down a one way, and crashed into the plaintiff's parked car. Even though Kuiper wasn't actually charged with a DUI, the serious injury related to reckless driving is a serious enough charge that attorney discipline is likely to at least be considered.
Although plaintiff's car was parked, he was there, trying to get something from the back seat at the time of impact. He was sent over 50 feet away by the crash and injured all over. Surprisingly, at the scene, police failed to administer a breathalyzer test to Kuiper.
Attorney DUIs and Discipline
A regular, first DUI for an attorney will usually be a misdemeanor, and thus an attorney may be able to skate by without being disciplined by their state bar. But, if an injury results, many states elevate those DUI charges to felonies, and felony convictions don't usually escape some form of bar censure.
In Kupier's case, in Michigan, it doesn't even need to be a DUI to be charged as a felony. Simply reckless driving causing serious injury can be charged as a felony.
If you're facing DUI charges, you wouldn't recommend a client represent themselves, so why should you? You know experience matters. You can use our FindLaw lawyer directory to find a local, experienced DUI practitioner if you don't know one. And if you're facing an ethics violation, we have an Ethics and PR directory to help you, just in case.