Every Sunday, I wake my son up to bring him to church. Every Sunday, he tells me that he hates it that I make him go to church. He acts like it's a sentence of punishment. Interestingly enough, that's what one judge sentenced a drunk driving defendant to. Church.
Not surprisingly, the ACLU lawyers in filing a lawsuit, claiming that the sentence in Unconstitutional. While their argument may have merit, it's a waste of money and energy. In reality, the sentence is extremely generous and focuses on redemption and helping the convicted drunk driver.
The sentenced drunk driver is teenager, Tyler Alfred. He was convicted of manslaughter because he had a blood alcohol level of .07, when he crashed the vehicle into a tree, killing his 16 year old friend. The custody exposure was four years to life in prison. Instead, the judge deferred his sentence. The DUI driver won't face any jail time, so long as he complies with several things, such as graduating from high school, continue counseling, speaking about the dangers of drinking and driving, and attend church every Sunday for ten years.
Despite the controversial ruling, the judge who entered the order stated, "They may well be right, but that's what I did and we made a record." He also said, "If someone wants to appeal my decision, they're entitled to do that." Despite the generous and lenient sentence, the ACLU attorneys are filing a judicial disciplinary complaint against the judge.
It should be noted, the Defendant doesn't HAVE to go to church. He could simply choose jail at any time. Of course, the argument is clear, that there really is no choice. I have yet to see any of the judges I appear before in Kansas make such a ruling.