PLATTSMOUTH – A Union woman who committed her fourth DUI violation in the past eight years will serve jail time and four years of probation for the offense.
Aundrea N. Grundman, 28, appeared in Cass County District Court Monday morning for sentencing on a Class IIIA felony charge. She pled guilty in November to driving under the influence of alcohol-third offense-aggravated by refusal.
Grundman was convicted of DUI in Lancaster County in July 2010 and in Cass County in October 2013 and February 2015. The state agreed to reduce its original charge from a fourth-offense DUI to a third-offense charge as part of a plea bargain. Prosecutors also agreed to dismiss two additional felony charges.
Family members contacted Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies June 19 about Grundman. They said they were concerned for her safety and wanted deputies to locate her.
Cass County Attorney Colin Palm said authorities spotted Grundman in her vehicle on Rieke Road near Highway 75 at 7:37 p.m. They saw her turn onto the highway and begin traveling southbound on the road. They quickly pulled her over on a driveway of a property along Highway 75 to prevent an accident from happening.
Palm said deputies noticed a strong odor of alcohol when they walked to the car to speak with her. They also spotted an open container of vodka in the vehicle. Palm said Grundman told deputies she had been drinking the vodka while she was driving on county roads.
Palm told the court Monday the state was willing to reach a plea agreement only because Grundman had taken part in multiple treatment programs since her arrest. She had also remained sober since that evening. He said Grundman was a borderline candidate for probation but said a Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision (SSAS) program could work for her.
“I’d ask the court to consider a SSAS type of probation,” Palm said. “This is the kind of offense that needs the specialized attention that something like SSAS provides.”
Palm also asked the court to suspend Grundman’s license for 15 years and issue a 60-day jail sentence. He said those were necessary consequences for the offense.
Defense attorney Angela Minahan said Grundman had made substantial progress on addressing her alcohol addiction. She said Grundman had voluntarily participated in a residential treatment program from July 13-Aug. 7 and then stayed in a halfway house from Aug. 15-Nov. 1. She began an intensive outpatient treatment program Dec. 10 and attends sessions three times each week.
“This has given her the opportunity to get the desperate help she needed,” Minahan said. “The documents you’ve received today show that she recognizes she has a disease and an addiction.”
Minahan said Grundman has obtained employment and is currently taking college classes. She has also obtained an alcohol treatment sponsor and has worn a continuous alcohol monitoring device since June 28. The CAM device has registered no violations during that time.
“I see Ms. Grundman taking responsibility for her actions not only in statements but in her outward actions as well,” Minahan said.
Grundman told the court she was apologetic about committing her DUI offenses. She said she was dedicated to making sure those decisions would never happen again.
“I do know what I’ve done to myself,” Grundman said. “I’m not proud of my history with liquor but I can make a better life for myself. I take full responsibility for my past and future actions.”
Judge Michael Smith told Grundman he had originally prepared a sentencing order that would have sent her to jail for a lengthy period. He said her positive behavior regarding treatment and the supportive nature of her family gave him enough reasons to reconsider that decision.
Smith ordered Grundman to serve 48 months on probation. She must continue to wear her CAM device, complete her intensive outpatient treatment program and participate in SSAS probation classes. Her driver’s license will be suspended for 15 years and she must pay a mandatory $1,000 fine.
Smith also ordered Grundman to spend 16 consecutive weekends in Cass County Jail. She will begin serving her jail sentence Jan. 11.
Smith told Grundman she was fortunate to have many people by her side during her rehabilitation process. He also said she had to abide by all of her probation requirements to avoid going to jail for a longer term.
“There are people who are willing to give you a chance,” Smith said. “That may be the only one you get. You’ve worn all of the other chances out. I’m warning you upfront that all of this will be gone if you run afoul of the law.”