Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dumb: DWI. Dumber: Violating your probation by drinking one hour after you have been sentenced. Dumbass: Choosing the bar where your judge is having

JACKSON, Mo. Dec 28, 2005 — A judge who caught a man consuming alcohol an hour after sentencing him for drunken driving ordered the man into rehabilitation on Tuesday.

Jacob Vandeven, 27, of Whitewater, entered a guilty plea before Judge William Syler on Dec. 5 to a reduced charge of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated for causing an accident with injuries.

Vandeven had been charged with a felony after the Nov. 20, 2004, accident, but with his plea was given a six-month suspended sentence and two years probation, according to court records.

The judge went to lunch at a restaurant and bar close to the courthouse less than an hour later. Syler spotted Vandeven drinking, a violation of his probation. A standard provision of probation in drunken driving cases is that the defendant refrain from drinking alcohol, avoid bars and not be around people who are drinking.

On Tuesday, the bar tab receipt was offered as evidence.

The receipt showed Vandeven and his party ordered two beers, two Long Island iced teas and a margarita, assistant Cape Girardeau prosecutor Jack Koester said. Koester said the exact number of people with Vandeven was unclear, but it appeared he was in the restaurant with one or two other people.

Vandeven has been in the Cape Girardeau County Jail since he was arrested Dec. 6. Syler ordered Vandeven to remain in custody until a space opens at a nearby treatment center.

The judge said Vandeven must complete a 30-day inpatient alcohol program. Vandeven must then return to the county jail and appear back in court on Jan. 30. Depending on how well the man does at the treatment center, the judge could restore his probation or impose the jail sentence of up to six months.

Vandeven's attorney, Malcolm Montgomery, told Syler that Vandeven had a drinking problem and was willing to go into treatment.

"I have never had a client so audaciously violate a judge's order that quickly after being placed on probation," Montgomery said.

ABC News: Judge Sees Man Drinking After DWI Sentence

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