A Kansas driver with prior DUI convictions has been handed down the maximum sentence for a recent DUI offense, despite being charged as a first time offender in the case. The attorney for Daryl Scott Goodnow, 52, sought the minimum two-day sentence for his client, noting the nature of the ‘first-time offense' charge. Despite the manner of the recent charge, Goodnow had been previously convicted of involuntary manslaughter for an alcohol-related crash which killed a family of five in 1986. Goodnow was also convicted of DUI in 1996, although he has not seen a drunk driving charge since that conviction, some 20 years ago. DA Lauren Amrein countered the attorney's argument, holding that the judge could consider any past DUI conviction, as well as related convictions like involuntary manslaughter.
The night of the incident, homeowner Matthew Stadler saw Goodnow's headlights shining into his home when he awoke for work. Stadler feared that Goodnow's vehicle could have struck the house, particularly the bedroom of his 10-year-old son. Prior to the arrest, his "pickup truck struck a tree, left tire marks as he drove in circles in the front yard and came to a stop next to a sidewalk a short distance from [Stadler's] son's bedroom,” according to the Topeka Capital Journal. When the sheriff's deputy arrived, the truck was in gear, the front end had sustained major damage and the vehicle was dragging the pole it had hit. Goodnow's BAC reading was .13.
The treatment of Goodnow's case was intended to "send [a] message to the community that we're going to take these offenses seriously,” said DA Mike Kagay. Judge Kelly Trussel also took into account Goodnow's past criminal record. He will begin his jail term on July 7. In a statement he expressed his apologies for his conduct to the judge and the Stadler family, saying “I chose to go out and celebrate my birthday, something out of character. I don't remember anything after leaving the (bar). To the Stadler family, I want to extend my sincerest apology.” He will pay a $750 fine and $108 in court costs.
In the case involving the family of five, Goodnow's BAC was .07 which fell below the .10 in place in Kansas at the time. As a result, his charge was not for DUI but the judge in the case allowed testimony regarding Goodnow's alcohol consumption. He was eventually sentenced to 5 to 25 years, and released on parole in 1991. Goodnow's minister, ex-wife and a coworker spoke on his behalf at the sentencing.
If you have been charged with drunken driving in Cherokee County, allow an experienced and aggressive DUI review the charges against you. The legal representation you select can make a world of difference in the outcome of your case. Your charges could be reduced and your sentencing can be negotiated by the right DUI attorney. Contact Cherokee County DUI Lawyer Richard lawson immediately for a free consultation of your case.