Driving records show that man killed in crash had 5 previous DUIs


KCTV5 has uncovered new details about a man accused of leading police on a chase that ended in a deadly crash nearly two weeks ago.

The driver, 26-year-old Grant McClure, was killed.

KCTV5 looked into McClure's driving record and found that, had he survived, McClure could be facing his sixth DUI.

Family and friends braced for the cold as they said their last goodbyes to McClure on a cloudy afternoon Tuesday.

"There wasn't a single person who knew him who didn't feel loved by him," said his father Alan McClure. "He was that kind of kid."

Friends at the memorial service described Grant McClure as a man who put others before him, didn't blindly follow convention and lived life fast. Fast doesn't even begin to describe how his life ended. He was killed in a horrific crash in Fairway, KS, the Sunday before Christmas.

Police say he was speeding away from a Westwood, KS, officer who tried to pull him over for traffic reasons. In the process, Grant McClure hit three cars and two trees. The force sent car parts flying. Now they're investigating whether the 26-year-old was drinking and driving, which wouldn't be a first for him.

Grant McClure's driving record tells the story of a young man with an obvious problem.

At just the age of 18 he was arrested for his first DUI in March of 2006 in Johnson County. It would be his first of five DUI convictions.

It's something Chris Mann has seen before.

"It happens all too often that people, even young offenders have repeat violations over a short period of time," said Chris Mann, an advocate with Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Kansas.

The former Lawrence police officer was injured in the line of duty by a drunk driver. He now works for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD.

"The penalties have increased, but they haven't increased for those people who have fourth, fifth, 10th DUIs. We are still lagging behind," Mann said.

Just two months after Grant McClure's first DUI, he was pulled over again and arrested for driving drunk. He pleaded guilty to both cases and his license was suspended.

A year later Grant McClure would be back in trouble with the law - this time getting pulled over in Jackson County. He pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and driving on a suspended license.

Not even legal to drink, at the age of 19, Grant McClure now had three DUIs on his record. Despite ordered to counseling and the interlock device, he was still drinking and getting behind the wheel.

DUI attorney Brian Leininger, who has never represented Grant McClure, agrees there is just no solid way to prevent drunk driving.

"Whether he's got a suspended license or is required to have an ignition interlock device on his car, he can drive a car anyways," Leininger said. "So if there is a way to keep people from driving a car, I think a lot of people would be very happy about that, but there just isn't."

Grant McClure wouldn't be charged with a felony until his fourth DUI in November 2008 when he was caught driving drunk in Johnson County again.

He wasn't found guilty until February 2010. That's when the state of Kansas finally canceled his license. But the punishment didn't work.

Grant McClure was arrested in Lee's Summit, MO, just eight months later - again for driving drunk. This time he was charged as an aggravated offender and sentenced to 60 days of "shock time" in jail, five years probation and rehab.

Kansas wouldn't even allow Grant McClure to apply for a new license until the end of last July.

Just five months later, police say Grant McClure led them on a destructive chase that ended in the crash that took his life, at the age of just 26.

Mann argues penalties need to be stiffer and judges need to be harder on repeat offenders.

"Not having that prison time held over their head is an issue essentially," said Mann. "For those people who have fourth, fifth, tenth DUI's, they will never see prison time no matter how many times they are caught with DUI."

Mann said proposed DUI bills including prison time were shot down for budget reasons. So he's working on new legislation to make the ignition interlock law stronger in hopes that offenders will learn to drive sober.

"What we're looking for is a system where the offender has to have a certain number of months of clean blows into the device before the device can be removed. That way we're assuring that people don't move on without learning," Mann said.

It's a lesson Grant McClure never learned.

Fairway police are investigating the crash. Police Chief Mike Fleming expects to release the full report as soon as Jan. 9, which will include Grant McClure's blood alcohol content level.

Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved


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