Woman charged with murder, DUI has previous record
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A woman charged with murder and Driving Under the Influence over the weekend has been convicted of one of those charges in the past.
Some advocates in the area say stricter punishment might have saved a man's life.
Police say Jennifer Pierce is responsible for killing a man over the weekend, but WDRB did a background check and learned that it's not the first time she's been accused of putting another person's life in danger.
Pierce has once again had her driver's license suspended for a charge she's been convicted of in the past -- Driving Under the Influence.
Pierce pleaded guilty to DUI after crashing into a telephone pole in Oldham County in December of 2011. Court records revealed the crash sent her son to Kosair Children's Hospital. She was also charged with wanton endangerment, but that charge was later dismissed.
The arrest report says she admitted to drinking and taking anti depressants and other drugs before getting behind the wheel. After pleading guilty, the 38-year-old served four days in jail and was placed under home incarceration for 8 days. She also completed a mandatory 90 day alcohol abuse program, but a year and a half later, she's been accused of murder.
"Her conviction in Oldham County involving her own child, this is a big call to MADD of children who are being endangered by caregivers or parents and they put their children in and they drive," said Louisville Chapter Director Lois Windhorst of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Advocates against Drunk Driving say there is no reason for her to have been driving again in the first place.
"Our concerns are always the repeat offender," Windhorst said.
Witnesses told police Pierce hit and killed 47-year-old James Holt with her minivan when he pulled over on Aiken Road. They say he tried to get her to stop after she was driving recklessly.
"My heart goes out to his family because he was trying to stop a tragedy and he became the tragedy," Windhorst said.
Windhorst said she and others are encouraging legislators to enact stricter punishments for repeat offenders. She hopes the "Interlock" system will be adopted in the commonwealth.
"There's an important item that needs to be included in Kentucky and that's the interlock where they cannot start the car if they have any alcohol on their breath," said Windhorst.
Windhorst said impaired driving was the most committed crime in the United States.
"Last year in Jefferson County, 15 people were killed in alcohol related offenses,"
"This year, they're up and we have not even hit the six month mark for 2013."
This is the third murder DUI case in Jefferson County within a month. Pierce's record indicated she had been in trouble before for several traffic violations dating back to 2006. Several of those charges were for speeding, careless and reckless driving. All of these offenses were prior to her DUI conviction. She will be back in court on July 3. She declined our request for an interview.
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