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Double DUI: PA Woman Charged Twice in a Day

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By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on November 18, 2015 5:59 AM

A woman in Pennsylvania faces two separate DUI charges stemming from a single day. She picked up the second intoxicated driving charge after paying for a ride to her car from the scene of the first.

Michele Leonard, 43, was pulled over for intoxicated driving on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m., according to reports from the Associated Press and Huffington Post. About an hour later, she crashed into a shed. When the shed owner tried to take away her car keys, Leonard told him, "I can't get another DUI today." But she did.

What the Witness Saw

Stanley Fisher, whose shed Leonard hit with her car, described the incident to reporters. "I looked out my window and saw a car fly down my driveway, past my truck, heard a big crash and looked out -- she slammed into my shed,"

Leonard herself did not respond to requests for comment. But police confirmed that no one was hurt.

Double DUIs Happen

This is not the first time that a person picked up two DUI charges in a single day. A similar story arose out of New York last year. In that case, the police stops took place about three hours apart.

Legally speaking, double DUIs are a serious problem. Laws about driving while intoxicated are strict and punishments are statutorily mandated, getting increasingly severe with each offense. States are explicit about how to punish DUI, giving judges little leeway compared to other crimes with respect to sentencing.

Convictions result in incarceration or probation, license suspension, mandatory attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and more. A judge is not going to be inclined to be lenient with Leonard anyway, given her response to the first charge that fateful afternoon.

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