Jacob Vandeven, 27, of Whitewater, Missouri, got off relatively easy after he was charged with drunk driving and causing an accident in which people were injured. Charged with a felony, he was allowed to plead guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge and received a six-month suspended sentence and two years probation, requiring among other things that the defendant refrain from drinking and avoid bars or other situations that put him in proximity to alcohol.
Time to celebrate! Vandeven and a couple of friends went directly to lunch at a restaurant close to the courthouse. Too close, as it turned out, because less than an hour after the judge had sentenced Vandeven to probation he walked into that same restaurant and saw Vandeven having a Long Island Ice Tea. Actually, it is not clear which drink Vandeven was having, but the bar tab offered in evidence this week at the probation hearing showed that the group had ordered two beers, two Long Island Ice Teas and a margarita, all within one hour of sentencing.
The judge has ordered Vandeven into a rehabilitation program, and depending on how he does, either the probation will be restored or the suspended jail sentence will be imposed.
Vandeven’s attorney argued that his client obviously has a drinking problem and was not completely responsible for his actions. "I have never had a client so audaciously violate a judge’s order that quickly after being placed on probation," he told the judge. Frankly, I’m not sure that helps all that much.