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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THE COST OF A DUI - SUSPENSION IN INDIANA

Mark Thornburg passed the Indiana bar exam in 1998, and was subsequently arrested and pled guilty to operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 to 0.15%, a class C misdemeanor.  Following Indiana's rules, he reported this incident to the Board of Law Examiners and was sworn in later that year.  After 13 years, Thornburg, on January 22, 2011, pled guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated with endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.  He subsequently notified the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission of this infraction. 

Immediately following his 2011 conviction, Thornburg met with the Indiana judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, a program to help lawyers and judges with substance abuse issues, and has been in compliance with his monitoring agreement with the Program. 

The Disciplinary Commission found that Thornburg had violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b), prohibiting a criminal act that reflects adversely on honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.  The Supreme Court suspended Thornburg for a period of 90 days, stayed subject to completion of 24 months of probation, effective 28 April 2012.  The Court took into consideration that Thornburg had no disciplinary history, continues his treatment with the Assistance Program, and was cooperative with the Commission. 

The lesson from all of this is simple, and still rings true - even for lawyers: DON'T DRINK & DRIVE - It may cost more than you can afford.

The opinion can be found here.

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