Jun

30

Mother Pleads Guilty to Allowing Son to Ride with Drunk Father

By Mary Ann

A mother from Fallbrook, California pled guilty to felony child endangerment for allowing her 6-year-old son to ride with her drunk husband.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Rosa Carachure’s husband rolled their SUV, killing her son. She was seriously injured in the crash.

Shortly after burying her son, Carachure was shocked when police charged her with a felony. Authorities accused her of knowing her husband was too drunk to drive. She could now get a year in jail.

Jose Mendoza, the father, was charged with DUI manslaughter. He could get six years in prison.

Mendoza and his wife were arguing over his drunk driving when he purposefully swerved the vehicle to show her he could drive. The SUV rolled and the child, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected. Two other children were uninjured.

Some prosecutors can certainly be vindictive. Carachure’s attorney said she’s been punished enough.

Jun

29

A DUI Lesson for at least the Next 30 Years

By admin

A Texas man who has been caught DUI eight times in the last 20 years has apparently not understood the lesson about the dangers of drunk driving, but he will have plenty of time to think it over.

Wendel Klotz was recently sentenced to a 70-year prison sentence (with the first 30 years carrying no chance for his parole) after he was arrested for the use of a deadly weapon while driving drunk.

Klotz has refused alcoholism treatment several times in the past; thus prompting the Texas county in which he was convicted to abandon its philosophy of treatment over imprisonment at least in this case.

Jun

28

Chinese Fire Drill Proves Costly in Colorado DUI Case

By admin

On March 13th of this year, an SUV crashed into a car, killing 17-year-old Samara Stricklen of Lakewood, Colorado. When police arrived at the scene, they found 16-year-old Alison Bowen behind the wheel of the SUV.

However, police learned during their investigation that 16-year-old Nanette Lafluer was actually operating the Ford Explorer during the fatal drunk driving accident.

With that said, Lafluer was recently charged with vehicular homicide while DUI. As for Bowen, she has been accused of drinking and driving sometime during the night of the fatal accident and thus is still facing a DUI charge.

And for her deception, Bowen has been charged with trying to influence a public servant.

A liquor store clerk is also facing charges in this unfortunate Colorado DUI case. The grand jury investigation has accused 44-year-old Pham Van Thein of repeatedly selling alcohol to minors, including one of Lafluer’s friends on that night.

Authorities have also determined that Lafluer drank some vodka purchased from Van Thein’s liquor store prior to getting behind the wheel of the SUV on that fatal night.

Jun

27

New York Supreme Court Says Huffing Not Covered by DUI Law

By Mary Ann

The New York Supreme Court threw out a driver’s conviction for DUI caused by “huffing.” According to the New York Daily News, the Court said gaps in New York’s DUI laws prevent the defendant from being charged with DUI for an accident that caused the death of a teenager.

Huffing is inhaling chemicals given off by glue, aerosols, and other substances. The chemicals replace oxygen in a user’s lungs and act as a stimulant.

The Court said New York’s 1910 DUI law, called Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in New York, does not define “intoxication.”

Courts, today, rely on a 1919 appellate court ruling that said “one is intoxicated when he has imbibed enough liquor to render him incapable of giving that attention and care to the operation of his automobile that a man of prudence and reasonable intelligence would give.” The Court indicated it would be up to the Legislature to address huffing and other new ways of getting high.

In this case, Vincent Litto was also charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, assault and other charges. The Daily News did not indicate whether the criminal charges against Litto will go ahead.

Jun

25

Colorado Clerk Avoids Jail for Fatal Liquor Sale

By Mary Ann

A Jefferson County, Colorado liquor store clerk was sentenced to home detention and probation for selling liquor to a minor who later died in a DUI accident. Loc Quang Truong was given 120 days home detention and 18 months of probation.

Loc had pled guilty to providing alcohol to a 20-year-old minor using his older brother’s expired Michigan driver’s license. Paul Ondrish later rolled his vehicle, killing himself and a passenger.

They were not wearing seatbelts. Three teenagers, riding in the back seat and wearing their seatbelts, suffered minor injuries.

The boys’ families said they were satisfied with the sentence which includes 120 hours of community service in a trauma facility, restitution, a $1,000 fine, orders to obtain a GED, to not work in a liquor store, and to attend a victim-empathy panel.

Jun

25

DUI Arrest Blows Up Tank Johnson’s Career as a Bear

By admin

After being arrested for “DUI Impaired to the Slightest Degree” early last Friday morning in Arizona, defensive lineman Terry “Tank” Johnson was released by the Chicago Bears today.

Johnson had vowed in May that he was a changed man after spending two months in jail for violating probation on a gun charge. Johnson was already facing an eight-game suspension for the start of the next season and may now have very well put his career –at least in the NFL–in severe jeopardy.

Johnson was pulled over for going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert on June 22nd. Officers suspected that Johnson was impaired, and a cooperative Johnson submitted a blood test for his BAC.

While those results aren’t expected for two weeks, the Bears’ organization didn’t need to wait for the results to get rid of Johnson after supporting him under much criticism during the last seven months.

The end of Johnson’s run as a Chicago Bear comes after a long line of embarrassing incidents. Police raided Johnson’s home last December and found six unregistered firearms, some of which were in the vicinity of Johnson’s young children.

After expressing contrition for this arrest (which violated an earlier gun charge), Johnson found himself in more trouble some two days later. His bodyguard, Willie B. Posey, was gunned down and killed during a fight at a Chicago nightclub that he and Johnson were frequenting. Johnson was suspended for one game by the Bears for the incident  but returned to the team during its Super Bowl run.

Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo said today that Johnson’s recent DUI arrest “compromised the credibility of our organization.” Head Coach Lovie Smith was described in a prepared statement as saying that Johnson did not live up to his side of the deal with the organization. Johnson was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2003 draft out of the University of Washington.

Jun

25

Washington Woman Gets 0.50 Percent Breathalyzer Reading

By admin

A Pierce County, Washington woman registered a breathalyzer reading of 0.50 percent last month. Two hours after her arrest, Rebecca G. Lingbloom submitted to a blood alcohol test which showed she had a BAC more than six times the legal limit for DUI in Washington.

A state medical technician said such a BAC “would certain kill most people.”

Technicians are required to reanalyze a blood sample showing such a rare blood alcohol level.

Not surprisingly, Lingbloom was found passed out behind the wheel of her car after she had allegedly nearly hit a pedestrian. She was released on bail after enrolling in a six-month treatment program for alcohol abuse.

Jun

21

Florida Prosecutors Forced to Drop 65 DUI Cases

By Mary Ann

Prosecutors in Hillsborough, Fla. have been forced to drop more than 60 of former sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Brock’s DUI arrests between October 2005 and October 2006.

Brock was fired after an internal review found he had arrested 58 people with a blood alcohol level (BAC) below the legal limit for DUI in Florida, often without evidence of suspicious driving actions, positive urine samples, or videos to back his arrests.

Brock had forced a particular DUI suspect to give a blood sample after a crash without serious injury. A blood draw is only allowed if authorities have evidence that someone sustained “serious bodily injury” in the crash.

The driver’s case was dropped without even filing charges.

Jun

21

North Dakota’s Worst Driver Gets Another DUI

By admin

Well, it’s safe to say that North Dakota’s Craig Irwin hasn’t taken his prior run-ins with “Johnny Law” too seriously.

Already owning the state’s worst driving record with 15 DUI arrests and more than 30 cases of driving without a license, Irwin added a couple of more notches to his unimpressive belt on June 14th when a Burleigh County deputy noticed him driving south of Bismarck.

Irwin was pulled over and proceeded to fail a breathalyzer test.

Irwin’s license had already been suspended until 2065, making it 99.99 percent unlikely that this guy will ever legally drive again (unless he has some magic potion from the Fountain of Youth). The maximum penalty for driving without a license is one year in the state; thus showing how excessive Irwin’s rule breaking truly has been.

Jun

20

DUI Deja Vu for “Hannah Montana” Man

By admin

Somehow, this interesting story got lost under the pile of papers on my desk, but as Wednesday is hump day and good time to reorganize, here it is.

Last week, a Montana man was arrested twice in the same day for DUI. As if things couldn’t get any weirder in this bizarre episode worthy of “The Twilight Zone,” the perpetrator was arrested both times by the same officer.

An Associated Press story detailed that 42-year-old Adam T. Lundgren was cited for misdemeanor drunken driving by Officer Cody Lanier around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 11th. After being released to a sober friend, Lundgren jumped from the friend’s car and returned to downtown Missoula, where he proceeded to drink the night away.

Lundgren crashed into a bridge railing around 10 p.m. of that night and even tried to flee before being captured and subdued by concerned witnesses. Lanier then cited Lundgren with drunken driving, reckless driving, and failing to heed a stop sign. Lundgren posted $700 bond later that night and was finally arrested the following day when he showed up drunk to his Municipal Court Agreement.

Jun

20

Is New York’s Proposed Tougher DUI-Causing-Death Law Meaningful?

By Mary Ann

New York lawmakers reached a deal with Governor Eliot Spitzer to pass tougher penalties for drivers convicted of DUI causing a death. Called “Katie’s Law,” the new law would create the crime of aggravated vehicular homicide.

The new DUI law would carry a sentence of at least 1 year in prison and a maximum of 25 years when a driver is convicted of DUI causing a death and one of these other factors: a second death or serious injury, a prior DUI (DWI in New York) conviction, a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent or higher, or driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Currently, a driver who has caused a death while DUI can only be charged with second-degree manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

The increase from a maximum of 15 years to 25 years is not likely to prevent a severally intoxicated person from DUI.

Jun

18

High Tech Gear to Protect Yourself From DUI

By Mary Ann

PC World recently posted an article on Gadgets That Tackle Tough Problems on their website. The first device was a keychain breathalyzer.

OmegaPoint claims its BreathKey is accurate to +/- 0.01 percent BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) at a BAC of 0.08 percent. On their website they say law enforcement breathalyzers are accurate within 0.005 percent.

The BreathKey is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certified, meaning it is “substantially equivalent” to other consumer breathalyzers on the market. OmegaPoint emphasizes that the BreathKey cannot be used as proof you’re below the legal BAC limit nor determine whether you’re safe to drive.

BreathKey is one of many keychain breathalyzers available. Other include AlcoHawk, Legal Limit, and Connectables. Prices on Amazon.com range from about $20 up to $70 and features vary.

While a keychain breathalyzer cannot be used in court, if used reasonably, it could help keep you out of trouble. Be aware that many states have lesser drinking and driving laws. For example, Colorado has laws against both DUI and Driving While Impaired (DWAI) . DWAI applies to any driver who is intoxicated, but below the per se limit of 0.08 percent.

Jun

15

Man and Woman Arrested for DUI and Sex While Driving

By Mary Ann

A Washington state trooper pulled over an SUV that was driving erratically. The driver was charged with DUI and embracing while driving.

His passenger was cited for possession of alcohol after the trooper saw her trying to hide a wine bottle.

The trooper told the Seattle Times that there were “some acts intimacy going on in the vehicle that were best saved for not driving down the freeway.”

He warned people that being distracted is as dangerous as being impaired, adding “I can’t think of anything more distracting as this.”

The driver should get a DUI attorney to see if embracing while driving is an actual law in Washington.

Jun

14

Pennsylvania DUI Taking It Back to Old School Mesopotamia

By admin

Contrary to the recent actions of a Pennsylvania man, DUI does not stand for “Didn’t Use Intelligence” but is rather short for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

I’m guessing Alin J. McNeely couldn’t have told you this when he was recently pulled over on suspicion of DUI in a vehicle that was missing a tire and a wheel. Contrary to what you might think, McNeely was not caught in Fred Flintstone’s ride.

A short blip on the radar screen of The Sentinel detailed how Middlesex Township police said that the 31-year-old McNeely was pulled over on the Harrisburg Pike in a white Nissan coupe that was missing a front wheel and without a tire on the rear wheel.

To no surprise, McNeely was charged with DUI, taken to the Carlisle booking center and detained at Cumberland County Prison. There was no word whether McNeely was eventually bailed out by Wilma, Pebbles, Dino or loyal friend-to-the-end Barney Rubble.

Jun

13

Not so Fast on Arizona Alcohol Ignition Interlocks

By Mary Ann

The Arizona Legislature may be backtracking on its new law mandating ignition interlocks for all drivers convicted of DUI. Governor Janet Napolitano signed Arizona’s interlock law during the current legislative session.

The DUI law has yet to even take effect. Now the Arizona House of Representatives has given preliminary approval to a bill to repeal the interlock requirement. The Senate may not agree to a repeal, but could allow modifications to the law.

Currently, Arizona’s pending DUI laws require all people with a first DUI offense to install and use an ignition interlock for one year. Compromise between the state Senate and House may result in a shorter time period or only requiring the interlock for drivers with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.10 percent or more. Arizona’s BAC limit for DUI is 0.08 percent.

The interlock law is set to take effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends. Regardless of whether and how the legislature and the governor amend Arizona’s pending law, interlocks will still be mandated for repeat and extreme DUI offenders.