Repeat DUI Offender Hits Judge

While it’s not a specific car I’m talking about this time, this one hits close to home.  This incident happened in Montgomery County, MD, where I currently reside.  Turns out that a repeat DUI offender named Rene Fernandez was involved in a collision last August, when his Tahoe struck a Honda Accord in the oncoming lane.  The ironic part?  The driver of the Honda was none other than Edwin Collier, a retired judge who had let Fernandez off light in 1998, when Fernandez was caught driving drunk for the second time in 3 months.

The first judge to see Fernandez in 1998 gave him probation, but less than 3 months later, Collier just added supervised probation and abstaining from alcohol to Fernandez’ sentence for his 2nd DUI, instead of the 60-day jail term he could’ve (and probably should’ve) given him.

I believe Collier should’ve thrown the book at Fernandez when he had the chance.  A first DUI can sometimes be recognized as a one-time mistake, and scares a lot of people straight.  Multiples, however, especially in that short a time frame, makes you question whether a person should even have a license to drive.

Fernandez was recently sentenced to 18 months in jail, while Judge Collier and his wife recover from several broken bones.

by John Suit

Source: The Gazette; Image Source:, part of NHTSA


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