Ten time DUI offender gets probation

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Similar plea deals may become more common.

FLORISSANT, MO (KTVI) - 55-year-old Joseph Hayes` DUI convictions date back 13 years.  He`s served three prison sentences for aggravated DUI, but Florissant Police say it didn`t stop Hayes from drinking and driving with a .244 blood alcohol level, which is three times the legal limit.

Yet this time, Hayes` attorney and a St. Louis County Assistant Prosecutor worked out a deal to give Hayes probation.

No one in the justice system will talk about it.  Neither Hayes` attorney nor anyone in the St. Louis County Prosecutor`s Office would comment.  The public had plenty to say.  Brittnee Carter said, 'He`s still going to be out doing what he wants to do and it`s not fair to safe drivers.'

Hayes must wear a SCRAM ankle bracelet for five years.  SCRAM sniff`s the skin to find if you`ve been drinking.  Hayes must also take a shot called `Vivitrol,` which reduces cravings by blocking your receptors.

Suneal Menzies is the executive director of the Assisted Recovery Centers of America (ARCA).  He says we should expect more people to stay out of prison because of our scientific advancements.   Menzies said, 'We`ve seen that the State and the legal system has come around to say punishment can`t be the only option, because if I take Johnny and I`m the attorney and put him in jail and he comes out and two weeks later, he drinks and he hits someone and kills someone, the attorneys the prosecutors are now saying that could fall on us.'

Vivitrol is essentially the same as Narcan, a drug featured in our previous Fox Files that`s known for waking heroin users who were close to death.
Menzies said, 'When we incorporate the use of medications and we bring chemical dependency and addictions into mainstream medicine, like we have diabetes, hypertension, cancer -- the results that we have seen and continue to see are going to be life changing.'

Hayes` plea deal also means he will pick up the cost of treatment.

One Vivitrol shot costs $1,200.  Menzies says every major health insurance company picks up the cost for 13 months. He said Missouri is one of the more progressive states, where State Medicaid charges a $2 Copay for the $1,200 shot.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV
Email chris.hayes@tvstl.com

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