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Attorney for Drunk Flier Lands 6-Month Drunk-Driving Term

October 21, 1987

A Burbank attorney who was arrested shortly after appearing in court drunk while representing a client accused of drunk flying was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail.

The attorney, Elmer O. Docken, 64, pleaded no contest before Ventura County Municipal Court Judge Lee E. Cooper Jr. to one charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, Deputy Dist. Atty. David Doyle said. Docken also was fined $810 and put on five years' probation, Doyle said.

In April, Docken arrived more than two hours late for the trial of his client, Ronald Gene Lichnovsky, 44, of North Hollywood, who had been charged with flying a private airplane from Pacoima to Oxnard while under the influence of alcohol.

Docken, who appeared intoxicated when he arrived in the Ventura County courtroom, was ordered by Cooper to take a breath test on which he registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.28%. A person with a blood-alcohol level of 0.10% or greater is considered legally intoxicated.

The judge postponed Lichnovsky's trial and warned Docken against driving while intoxicated. But Docken was arrested an hour later by Ventura County sheriff's deputies in the courthouse parking lot on suspicion of drunk driving.

Docken, who has two previous convictions for drunk driving, was given 90 days to begin his sentence.

Lichnovsky, who hired another attorney shortly after Docken's arrest, was convicted by a jury of two misdemeanor charges of drunk flying.

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