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Special Assignment: A Family's Fight for Justice

News 12 at 6 o'clock, November 2, 2009

WAYNESBORO, Ga.---Every 40 minutes someone in the U.S. is killed by a drunk driver, and the numbers show the majority of those drivers have driven drunk before.

One family in Waynesboro knows the numbers all too well. Seven years ago, their father was killed by a man driving with drugs in his system. News 12 talks with the family about their fight to get justice for their father.

It was a Saturday morning in October when 47-year-old Doug Ide was hit and killed by 25-year-old Jack Bailey. Bailey was speeding and had drugs in his system. This would be his third DUI arrest, and not his last.

Shane Ide and Jessica Ide Brantley showed News 12 keepsakes from years' worth of memories, wedding days, and Christmases from long ago.

But some of them are more painful memories, like the hat their father was wearing the day he died, and the college graduation he never made it to.

"He was my best friend, like literally, my best friend," Shane said, emotion evident in his voice. "We did everything together. We went hunting together, fishing together, we worked on cars. Sorry, it's been a while since I've talked about this."

Jessica and her little brother Shane lost their father, Doug Ide, in a car accident at an intersection. That crossroads changed many lives forever.

"It's really hard because my oldest son is named after my father, and he reminds me so much of my dad, and I can really see a lot of my dad in him," Jessica said. "So it's sad to me that my dad's not around to enjoy that."

Troopers say Ide failed to yield that Saturday morning seven years ago. Although a toxicology report did show Ide had a blood alcohol level of .04, because he was not near the legal limit, the second driver, Jack Bailey, was charged in his death.

Bailey was driving 85 miles per hour with ecstasy and methamphetamine in
his system.

"I understand an accident, but then later, when we found out there were drugs involved, instead of the forgiveness that I thought I had, it really made me angry that this had happened," Jessica said.

The wreck was seven years ago, but for the Ide family, the pain never goes away.

"Some days it seems like it was one hundred years ago, and some days it seems like it was yesterday," Shane said.

Bailey pleaded guilty to felony vehicular homicide. The court dismissed the misdemeanor DUI's. Bailey's sentence was just 10 years probation on first offender status.

But this wasn't the first time Jack Bailey had been arrested for DUI. It was the third.

"Something should have happened the first time, and if not the first time, the second time to stop this from happening again," Jessica said.

Bailey's first DUI arrest came in the year 2000 on Washington Road in Columbia County. The legal limit is .08. Bailey blew a .105 and was charged with open container. He pleaded down to reckless driving and paid a fine.

Exactly one year later, Bailey was arrested again for DUI. This time, in Statesboro, he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 1 day in jail, 12 months probation, and 40 hours of community service.

A year later, Bailey was driving with illegal substances in his system again, that Saturday morning in October.

"Something has gone wrong here in our judicial system where a man is allowed to be a repeat offender like this," Jessica said. "We're all in danger if we're on the road at the same time he's out drinking and driving."

Bailey was released from probation for the vehicular homicide in May of this year, five years early. Under the first offender act, that conviction is erased from his record, leaving the Ides at a loss.

"It's a real big breakdown in the judicial system, and it makes it hard to have any kind of faith in it," Shane said.

Just weeks after Bailey was released, he was behind bars again, for DUI arrest number four.

"I don't know what it would do to us if we found out he killed somebody," Shane said. "It would infuriate me, and it should infuriate everyone else too."

Jack Bailey was arrested this July in Wadley, Georgia for that 4th DUI. Bailey blew a .095 blood alcohol. Police pulled him over during a road block, about six weeks after he had been released from his probation.

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