Judge to Drunk Driver: View Dead Bodies Or Serve More Time

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PAINESVILLE--  More time in jail, or visit the morgue? That's what a local man has to decide after being sentenced to 5 days in jail after drinking and driving in October.

27-year-old Jonathan Tarase nearly killed a husband and wife after he ran a stop sign in Concord Township on Girdled Road near Orchard. The victims suffered minor injuries but their car was totaled.

Judge Michael Cicconetti sentenced Tarase to five days in jail, with the option of skipping the last two days.  Instead, he will have to visit a hospital or coroner's office on two occasions and see bodies- victims of car crashes.

Judge Cicconetti says this was Tarase's first offense. "The victims said to me, what can you do to get the attention so this guy doesn't do this again?  So, this is what I came up with. He must go visit the bodies on two separate occasions," said Cicconetti.

"I'm not doing this for the publicity. I'm doing this to get through to people. These actions have to stop.  Whatever the crime may be, theft, driving around a school bus or OVI, this needs to stop. If we can help someone out there change their behavior and stop one or two cases, that's the idea."

Tarase also had to pay a $600 fine and his driving privileges have been suspended for 15 days.

If he chooses visitation of dead bodies, he has to do that by mid-April.

The courts will work with the coroner's office on specifics, including permission from victims' families.

Tarase apologized to the crash victims in court.

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