Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Staggering DUI Disposition

 Daniel Dodman crash Triangle Street 6/20/13 Not far from Amherst High School

Many of you will remember Daniel S. Dodman my June 20 DUI Dishonor Role winner.  He's the kid who drove his Volvo off busy Triangle Street after sideswiping a telephone pole and then tried to surf a row of boulders.  He abandoned his damaged vehicle and sprinted north. 

Once captured he failed every aspect of the FSTs and blew a .16 BAC -- twice the legal limit.

The crash drew the immediate attention of Amherst police of course, but also tied up AFD since the damaged vehicle was leaking hazardous fluids. 

In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Tuesday Judge John Payne heard pretty much an admission of guilt and plea for mercy from Dodman and his attorney.  His mother was also in court, and the Judge heard about his successful older siblings.   A DUI conviction on his record would dramatically reduce the likelihood of his ever matching their success in life.

The prosecution was not overly moved, citing his fleeing the scene, struggling with police and also mentioned  how he emptied a toilet with his bare hands when finally put in a cell, weirding out one of the officers.

UMass suspended Dodman for one year but he will restart his senior year this coming spring.  And he is getting professional help from an Amherst therapist.  

The Judge was convinced (by the defense).  Out of the six counts filed against him he dismissed three (Resisting Arrest, Leaving Scene of Accident, Marked Lanes Violation) and the most important ones -- DUI and Negligent Operation -- he continued for a year without a finding.

He was also found  "responsible" for "open container of alcohol" (whisky) in an automobile, but the charge was simply filed for one year.

Dodman will lose his drivers license for 45 days, be on probation for a year, pay court costs and continue with his therapy.

Maybe he has learned a harsh lesson.  Maybe.  If not, the next time he could die -- or worse, one of those innocent teen-age bystanders you see below.

Daniel Dodman's rolling weapon disarmed (note teenagers in close proximity)


Dr. Ed said...

Kicked out of UMass for a year is a more draconian punishment than the Commonwealth could ever legally impose for a first OUI -- oh, wait, the Commonwealth did impose that penalty, law notwithstanding, and without providing the Constitutionally-mandated due process hearing either -- that little part about the right to confront those who present evidence against you comes to mind.

In fact, I *have* a copy of the CORI memo that says that cops actually have to show up in person and testify at student judicial hearings -- that it is a violation for them to just send their reports (as the APD routinely does.)

which is illegal -- the CORI folk in Chelsea are explicit on that!

And sooner or later, the town is going to get the living shite sued out of it and as this will be a Section 1983 suit, there is no limit to the jury award and last I heard, the town only has $2M in liability insurance.

Sucks to be an Anherst Taxpayer, I guess....

Anonymous said...

I hope that this kid can turn his life around for the better. He has his chance now.

Anonymous said...

Hey, kids! Wanna play a new game? It's called "Tally Ed's Obsessive Compulsions". C'mon, it'll be fun! Let's start:

- Amherst will get sued into bankruptcy (one day): 1 manifestation.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Ed, but the town isn't to blame for his getting kicked out of school. And even if the town doesn't show up at judicial hearings it's the university that would be at fault, they are holding the hearing not the town.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to watch normal people letting themselves get goated by the likes of Ed. He feeds off you to acheve self-gratification. Consider it a form of masturbation. You don't debate with drunks, idiots or the likes of Ed and I'm insulting drunks and idiots. "Please Don't Feed The Animals" Ignore him and he will go away.

Dr. Ed said...

Does it bother anyone that the fact that UMass suspended him for a year (which probably has put his student loans into default) came out at his trial indicates that they did this to someone presumed to be innocent?

And why is he seeing an Amherst therapist when he lives elsewhere? Does it bother anyone that Enku is mandating psychiatric treatment of students, which is a violation of a lot of things including the practitioner's own code of ethics?

Anyone remember that line about "I didn't speak up when they came for the Jews because I wasn't a Jew...." Yes -- ignore the little technicalities of civil rights -- and you won't have them yourself -- when you might actually be innocent.

From what cops tell me -- officers who arrest adn prosecute drunk drivers -- people whom I suspect know what they are talking about -- there are two real problems with getting a conviction in this case should he contest it -- all he has to do is say "yes, I was so upset that I wrecked my car that I opened that bottle of Vodka and started to drink heavily" -- and then you can't prove he had the 1.6 while actually driving the car.

It's "Operating Under the Influence" not "Being Under the Influence After Having Operated a Vehicle No Longer Operatable"

The definition of "operation" I've heard is "power to the drive train" -- which in this case was in pieces strewn across the street after the accident, and hence while they could get him were he merely stuck and spinning his tires, here they have to prove he was drunk before he wrecked the vehicle.

Anonymous said...

A) A CWOF for a first offense OUI is written into the statute. Actually, it is STATUTORILY guaranteed. Please read c90s24/D.

B) Ed: STFU. I am sure that the PD sends a rep to ANY meeting involving the criminal activity of one of their students. My guess is that it is a person of rank. Conjetures gets people hurt.

Anonymous said...


Please file your law school applications and put us out of our misery.....although it would be fun to watch some law school professor doing his best John Houseman imitation on your face in class, just after you attempted any one of the inane utterances you've pulled on this blog over the years.

Dr. Ed said...

B) Ed: STFU. I am sure that the PD sends a rep to ANY meeting involving the criminal activity of one of their students. My guess is that it is a person of rank.

Guess to your heart's content -- have you ever BEEN to one of these hearings? Ever been the person advising the accused student at one of them? (I have -- and I honestly could not believe some of the stuff I was seeing happening.)

Forget any officer showing up, let alone one of rank, they wouldn't even let the student read the APD's report that was being used against him, I'm not making this up -- I honestly couldn't believe it and literally threatened to walk upstairs and drag Brian Burke (UM counsel) back downstairs if they didn't accord this kid at least some scintilla of a fair hearing.

Furthermore, I have it from good sources that this is the routine practice. I have it from good secondhand sources that the APD officers themselves can't believe they haven't been sued yet over this and I think that speaks for itself.

You are right about people getting hurt over this -- and I do intend to write a letter to the CORI folk in Chelsea, and if folk loose their badges as a result, well I guess it sucks to be them. Don't expect tears from me.

It goes without saying that at this point, I have nothing but visceral contempt for the police -- unfortunately including the decent ones as well

Oh, and, SMD...

Anonymous said...

I walk my dog every night in Amherst and we usually walk in that area. The path we take takes us past those rocks as we stroll in the grassy area behind Bertuccis. This kid should server time in jail, he could have killed someone.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really read Ed's posts. I just ignore them and anyone who responds. If Ed took action on any of what he claims he might have some credibility. He's just another Amherst crazy person having his 20 minutes of fame or in Ed's case 2000 post of fame on this blog. Ed please find something else to do.

The Evil Dr. Ed.... said...

If Ed took action on any of what he claims he might have some credibility.

Be careful of what you ask for my friend, be very careful....

Don't ever mistake charity and forbearance for weakness. Be careful what you ask for because if you are stupid enough to keep asking for it, well you likely will eventually get it.