Drunk Ferrari driver sparks protest over wealthy offenders

The Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia, Washington.

A wealthy Washington man who led police on a high-speed chase in his Ferrari has sparked a debate and protest over whether the wealthy get special legal treatment.

According to reports in the Associated Press and local news, Shaun Goodman pled guilty to drunken driving and eluding police after a December chase in his Ferrari F360 through downtown Olympia. His blood alcohol level was twice the state limit. The chase ended when he crashed the car into a parked car and a home.

Goodman had seven other arrests for driving under the influence, though some were downgraded. But instead of prison, Goodman was sentenced to a year of work release. In January, a judge signed an order modifying Goodman's conditions of release so he could fly to New Jersey for the Super Bowl.

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Goodman's attorney said Goodman has to run his business every day because employees rely on him for their jobs.

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Yet protestors gathered outside the Thurston County Courthouse and argued that Goodman was getting special treatment.

They held signs that read "Money Walks," and "Justice for $ome."

"The judge has said, at some point, that he's an important businessman in the community, and it wouldn't be fair for him (and) his employees would suffer if he went to real jail," protest organizer Sam Miller told KOMO News. "And my question is: what about the people that might suffer if he kills somebody?"

To read the full story from the AP, click here.
To read KOMO News' account, click here.

—By CNBC's Robert Frank.