Ex-prosecutor, judge talk Kentucky DUI laws amid LMPD detective’s death

Prosecutor, judge talk Kentucky DUI laws amid LMPD detective’s death
Detective Jason Schweitzer (Source: LMPD)
Detective Jason Schweitzer (Source: LMPD)
Suzanne Marie Whitlow in a 2014 mugshot (Source: LFUCG Community Corrections)
Suzanne Marie Whitlow in a 2014 mugshot (Source: LFUCG Community Corrections)
Benham Sims (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Benham Sims (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Jefferson District Court David Holton (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Jefferson District Court David Holton (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Former DUI prosecutor Benham Sims knew Louisville Metro Police Department Detective Jason Schweitzer, the officer killed by an alleged drunk driver in Lexington early Saturday.
 
"When I scrolled through Facebook and I saw his picture, you just go 'Oh,'" Sims said.
 
Police said Suzanne Whitlow, 26, hit and killed Schweitzer and another man.

This was Whitlow's second DUI offense. Her first offense was in 2014. She just finished her court ordered DUI classes on Oct. 6.

Nationally, about one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
 
"I've represented people that have been charged with driving under the influence and have caused a death as a result of their bad decisions. It's devastating for them, their families, their friends and there's nothing but sadness," Sims said. 
 
Under Kentucky law, all convicted DUI offenders undergo an assessment of alcohol abuse problems and participate in a required treatment program, which Whitlow did. Jail time is also an option.
 
"DUI one, two days to 30 days," Chief Judge of Jefferson District Court David Holton said. "DUI two is seven days to six months. A DUI three is 60 days to a year."
 
More than three DUIs is felony charge; however, Sims believes that although about 50 percent of DUI offenders do not do it again the repercussions for the crime should delve deeper, in hopes of stopping people like Whitlow.
 
"What we need to do is provide treatment because really the punishment itself and the threat of punishment is not enough," Sims said.
 
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