Tulsa, Oklahoma. Republican State Representative John Trebilcock, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was in court to formally change his plea on a criminal charge stemming from a DUI arrest last year.
Representative John Trebilcock entered into a deal with prosecutors in July of 2007. Trebilcock needed to comply with various court imposed restrictions for six months. Upon successful completion of the court terms Treilcock’s no contest DUI plea would be reduced to a no contest Reckless Driving plea.
Trebilcock was required to work 10 days for the City of Tulsa and attend an alcohol class. John attended a DUI victim impact panel and pay fines of $750.00. This most likely will not help for Trebilcock’s next re-election, but a DUI arrest did not prevent Republican Jane Hague from reclaiming her County Council seat. Too bad our elected officials that make laws cannot follow them.
He was reportedly twice busted for alcohol related offenses in Tulsa in 1989, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, driving under suspension, transporting an open container and driving without insurance and driving while intoxicated. In the first incident he received a one-year deferred sentence, in the second incident he received two one-year suspended sentences and 40 hours of community service.In the same story by Fox 25, an Oklahoma City Police Officer refused to take a breathalyzer test, as did a former Luther Chief of Police. You see, the hypocrisy stacks up so fast in Oklahoma where DUI is concerned, you need wings to stay above it. And the trial lawyers love it because they know the law and they know that the few prosecutors who actually DO give a rip about DUI have their hands tied.
In 2005, Rabon’s truck crashed into a ditch in Hugo and an OHP trooper was disciplined for not testing to see if alcohol was involved in the crash.
If you think the problem isn't horrific, consider the following hypothetical:
1. A man gets arrested in Moore by Moore police and charged/convicted of DUI in city court.
2. The same man gets arrested in Blanchard for DUI, charged and convicted in city court.
3. The same man gets arrested in Edmond for DUI, charged and convicted in city court.
4. The same man gets picked up in Oklahoma County by the Sheriff, gets charged and finally is charged in the Oklahoma County Courts.
Legislators and elected officials play fast and loose with the truth of the situation and the gravity therein. They say they talk DUI seriously, but clearly if they were serious about the problem, they would require all DUI arrests to be handled by "courts of record" - the counties where the arrest was made. Why, you may be asking yourself, aren't they turning these cases over to the counties?
Because DUI arrests and charges in municipalities are revenue producers for those municipalities. One legislator told me that they had tried to push for such legislation previously, but the establishment Republicans and many of the rural Democrats fought against it because they small towns and cities would lose that revenue. Even KWTV did a story about this issue a few years back and ironically, the story was handled by the wife of the current Oklahoma County District Attorney, David Prater.
What was important a few years ago, apparently isn't so important now, is it?
Prosecutors don't want to go "on the record" to talk about it, particularly when it hits close to home. They have to work with members of the law enforcement community on a daily basis and while trying cases in the media is sexy and easy to do where politics are concerned, it's a little more difficult to navigate the waters where local law enforcement may be forced to answer really tough questions about how DUIs are handled for elected officials and their friends.
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