Dec

30

Teens Freeze to Avoid Arrest for DUI

By Mary Ann

It’s hardly news that underage teenagers have drinking parties, unfortunately.  But this one has a bit of a twist.

Sheriff’s deputies in Florence, Wisc. were alerted to an underage drinking party.  When they arrived, a vehicle was leaving the alleged party.  When a deputy followed the vehicle, he found it in a ditch less than a mile down the road, with the occupants out of sight in the nearby woods.

Several more vehicles coming from the direction of the party, and officers duly stopped each vehicle.  One of the vehicles, however, sped off after being ordered to stop, leading the deputies on a high-speed chase for a few minutes before slamming into a snow bank in a hay field.

Five of the teens either surrendered or were captured shortly after, though deputies continued searching for a while to round up all eight teens that had spilled from the car.  Eventually, the deputies left.  Without shoes on, three of the teens stayed all night in the unheated vehicle after hiding out somewhere in the hay field.

The three suffered frostbite and were taken to a local hospital, where officers did finally catch up to them.  A total of seven minors in possession of alcohol citations were issued to the party-goers.

For more crazy DUI stories like this one, check out Total DUI’s unusual DUI news page.

Dec

29

DUI Checkpoints–How Effective Are They?

By Mary Ann

News from Portsmouth, New Hampshire calls attention to a potential thorn in the side of the extremely popular DUI sobriety checkpoint that law enforcement officials have used with some frequency across the nation over the past few years.

Sobriety checkpoints are placed along stretches of the road that have a high incidence of drunk driving, especially during heavy drinking periods, such as weekends and holidays.

Typically, a sobriety checkpoint works in one of two ways: either police officers employ a quick breath test and the drivers for each car that passes are tested, or officers will stop only certain drivers for sobriety tests.

The problem of Portsmouth stems from a series of such roadblocks set up in July 2005.  The local Seacoastonline reports that the DUI arrests made during the five-agency team effort are languishing in courts.

Of 514 drivers stopped at the DUI checkpoints, 8 were arrested.  Currently, half of the cases have been resolved with plea agreements to lesser charges, and deals are being negotiated for the remaining four cases.

Instead of DUI charges, the plea agreements so far have involved reckless driving pleas with a small fine and short suspension of license (generally, just a couple of months).  If the remaining please hold form, the end result of the roadblock effort will be NOT ONE DUI conviction.

Of course, roadblocks have faced scrutiny for allegations of unconstitutionality, since officers are stopping and investigating cars and drivers without cause.  The United States Supreme Court found that that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional, but eleven states have individually outlawed them.

Of course, the Portsmouth case could warrant a different kind of scrutiny.  If they’re questionable under civil rights laws, and ALSO unable to convict DUI suspects, then how effective are they anymore?

Dec

28

Former Yankee Jim Leyritz Arrested for DUI, Homicide

By Mary Ann

TMZ.com is reporting that former Yankee player Jim Leyritz has been arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular homicide.

Leyritz is reportedly in the Broward County Jail in Florida on $11,000 bond after he refused a breathalyzer test.

He was arrested after he lost control of a Ford SUV and struck another vehicle in an intersection.  The impact of the crash caused the other vehicle to roll, ejecting the female driver and killing her.

True to form, TMZ has the photo shot at Leyritz’s booking—truly scary!

Dec

27

The DUI Year in Review

By Mary Ann

After we get through the holiday season, we’ll be done with another year here at Total DUI.

Enjoy two of our recent roundup articles, exclusive to Total DUI.

Ever hear that those who can’t do teach?  How about a twist on this old saying: those who DUI, teach?

And who could forget those celebrities who have shared this year with us?

Read about Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland and Lindsay Lohan in the top 10 celebrity DUI arrests of 2007.

Dec

26

Cell Door Slams for Actress Michelle Rodriguez

By Mary Ann

Television and film actress Michelle Rodriguez, popular for her roles as Letty on The Fast and the Furious and Ana Lucia on TV’s “Lost,” has started her jail sentence for violation of probation in a hit-and-run case from June 2004.

As we reported in Total DUI’s Celebrity DUI Spotlight, Rodriguez was nabbed for DUI in Hawaii in 2005 as well as speeding, and spent five days in jail after a guilty plea.  She went to jail a second time for this violation of probation, and was released immediately because of overcrowding (a none too rare occurrence in California jails).

However, there was one other stipulation for the DUI probation violation: community service.  Rodriguez didn’t do the 30 hours of community service, but claimed she did on court documents.  This fabrication didn’t go over well with her judge.

Now, Rodriguez will serve 180 days, and like her fellow actor DUI offender Kiefer Sutherland, will serve jail time with no possible release.  On December 23, Sunday, two days before Christmas, Michelle Rodriguez entered jail.

177 days and counting….

Dec

14

Smile for Your Arizona DUI Mug Shot: It Could Be Posted Online

By Mary Ann

Being arrested and charged with DUI can be a scary and embarrassing experience. While most people would like to put their DUI arrest in the past, especially in the cases of those who had a one-time, temporarily lapse in judgment, actually doing so hasn’t been that easy for some Arizona DUI offenders.

The new Web site Stopduiaz.com posts the names, mug shots and blood alcohol content levels of people who have been arrested for Arizona DUI. The site has been described as a means to educate the public on DUI penalties and to get across the point that even ordinary citizens can be arrested for DUI and thus subjected to such penalties.

The site is not without controversy, as some people have decried the embarrassing aspects of this campaign. These opponents have specifically pointed out their displeasure with the principle of shaming, in which embarrassment for a crime can be used as part of a sentence.

Read more about the debate surrounding this Arizona DUI Web site in the following article:

Arizona DUI Offenders See Names and Mug Shots Go Online.

Dec

10

Donut Thief Holes Up in Krispy Kreme Truck

By Mary Ann

It’s the kind of news story that copy editors live for: a high-speed chase with police in hot pursuit of…wait for it…a donut truck!

The singularly-named Warren G. Whitelightning got nabbed for his fourth DUI offense when police officers finally caught up to his rogue Krispy Kreme truck.

Whitelightning had stolen the truck after hooking eight pickled sausages at an Open Pantry convenience store, then led police on a chase reaching speeds of over 80 mph as donuts flew out of the abducted auto.

Dec

7

Wyoming DUI Case Dismissed by Intriguing Ruling

By Mary Ann

Chad Trebby thought that he had his man.

As the Gillette, Wyoming police officer watched a seemingly drunk man stumble to his car, Trebby waited for the suspect to turn on his vehicle and drive away. Once the unnamed suspect did so, Trebby pulled him over on suspicion of DUI.

Imagine Trebby’s dismay when a judge later dismissed the DUI case on the assertion that Trebby had reasonable suspicion to think that the man was drunk and thus endangered the safety of the public by letting the suspect drive away.

The following article not only imagines Trebby’s dismay but examines the reasoning behind the judge’s decison.