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Woman outraged over temporary release program for drunk driver

Woman outraged over temporary release program for drunk driver (WRGB)

COEYMANS HOLLOW, NY (WRGB)-- A Coeymans Hollow woman is calling out the state, after she discovered the drunk driver who cost the woman her leg is allowed to leave prison.

Sandy LaPlante’s life changed nearly three years ago, when Robert Dunn--a repeat drunk driver--crossed a double yellow line in Coeymans and smashed into Sandy and her motorcycle.

"The next thing I remember is waking up on the ground, blood everywhere, and I looked down at my leg and realized it was pretty much ripped off,” LaPlante recalled.

Dunn pleaded guilty, and a judge sentenced him to two and a third to seven years in prison, but he didn't stay there long.

Recently, Sandy got a letter from the state saying Dunn had been transferred to a temporary release program, allowing him to work in the community. Sandy was floored.

"Everybody gets a second chance, but this guy didn't learn after three times, and he almost killed me, and he's still not getting the punishment he deserves,” she exclaimed.

Prosecutors were also taken by surprise.

District Attorney David Soares tells CBS 6 the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision is the group calling the shots after sentencing.

"It's an entirely different world once you get into the department of corrections,” Soares said.

Soares maintains something needs to change at the state level, especially since he says ‘DWIs’ are widely considered non-violent offenses and eligible for these types of programs.

"What is more violent than one vehicle running into another vehicle, at high speeds and either maiming or killing someone? That's violence,” he continued.

"I don't understand what good sentencing is and what a judge does, if corrections can make their own decision and pick what they want to do,” LaPlante added.

A DOCCS spokesperson tells CBS 6 Robert Dunn is part of an ‘industrial training program,’ where he works--supervised--outside the prison grounds. They add Dunn is required to come back to Hudson Correctional Facility every night.

He’s also allowed one day every weekend where he's allowed to travel with an approved person within 50 miles of the facility--but he's *not* allowed to drive.

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