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Should the justice system address addiction and other illnesses?

DUI charges aren't uncommon in New Jersey or anywhere else in the U.S. When a person is pulled over for drunk driving, it's usually the case that they have either made a bad decision, or that the officer has made a mistake and the driver is found not guilty. A recent DUI charge clearly indicates that the defendant involved needs help.

The case involves a 45-year-old man who was arrested recently after a concerned citizen called to report that he was driving. He had made a name for himself with his past four DUI convictions in the last month. Police caught up to him, allegedly observed him driving erratically, and pulled him over. He refused to take a breathalyzer but the beer in his lap was a pretty good indicator that something was awry. He also admitted to taking oxycontin earlier that morning.

The arrest was his fifth DUI in as many weeks. The man was charged with illegal use of CDS (controlled dangerous substance), DWI, Reckless Driving, failure to maintain lane and having an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle. He is in the county jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

A local man who caught the arrest on camera using his surveillance system said, "I think there's got to be something else wrong with this gentlemen, doing such a thing and continuing to do without regards or remorse for other people's life." These repeated incidences bring up concerns that many people have. What should be done with drivers who may have addiction issues or other problems that need to be addressed?

Source: ABC Action news, "NJ man charged with 5th DUI in 5 weeks," May 16, 2012

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