Is a Beer Cooler Really a Vehicle?

By Mary Ann

A man in Whitehall, New York recently faced a DUI arrest after he was seen swerving around while driving his “Cruzin Cooler” – a beer cooler with three wheels, a handlebar and an electric motor.

Since when can you get arrested for DUI without the benefit of a car?

Recently we spotlighted a DUI case involving a man who was walking his bicycle across his own yard when he was arrested for DUI. It just goes to show that in some cases a DUI arrest does not require a motor vehicle or the act of driving.



Wackiest DUIs of the Week and More

By Mary Ann

Did you hear about the dog facing DUI arrest? Turns out it was just a drunk man who thought he was a dog. And an FBI agent.

Or how about the girl who claims she failed her breathalyzer because she’d been making out with a drunk boy?

Were you aware that you can be charged with DUI even if you didn’t actually drive a car?

One New York man faces DUI charges after riding a motorized cooler while under the influence (since when are coolers motorized?).

And what DUI roundup would be complete without a look at the latest batch of celebrities facing charges for driving under the influence?

Check back next week for the latest and most bizarre in the world of impaired driving.



Arizona Cranks Up Penalties for “Extreme” DUI

By Mary Ann

Arizona governor Janet Napolitano signed into effect another new chapter in what is becoming one of the country’s toughest set of DUI laws.

State legislators passed a bill that would increase penalties for first DUI offenders convicted of “extreme DUI,” or a DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% or higher (roughly double the legal limit of 0.08%).

Now, “extreme” DUI offenders would serve a full 30 days in jail, an increase from the current 10-day minimum.



A Possible Lucky Break for Some Seattle DUI Suspects

By Mary Ann

Hundreds of people awaiting trial for Washington DUI in Seattle Municipal Court just became a step closer to beating the charges.

A recent court ruling has barred the results of all breath tests given before December 18, 2007 from being used against the defendants in court. Generally a DUI offense without blood alcohol concentration reading is often harder to prosecute, but the court found that all of the breath tests conducted prior to mid-December may have delivered inaccurate readings.

The breath test machines were brought up to date and determined to be accurate as of December 18, 2007 according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Of course the Seattle City Attorney is none too happy about losing the teeth of many of the Washington DUI offenses on the docket and plans to appeal the decision.

Even without the breath tests results, Tom Carr says that only a small number of the DUI cases will be dismissed. Without the breath test evidence there are still field sobriety tests, dash cam videos and other evidence available to help prove that the defendants were driving while impaired.

The toxicology lab that conducts the breath tests in Seattle has been under fire since last summer when the lab manager was suspected of signing off on scientific tests that had not actually been conducted.

From there it only got worse and the lab policies and procedures were then questioned and challenged, as was the software used by the breath test machines. Four judges found that no one at the toxicology lab ever checked to make sure that the breath test machine data was being calculated correctly.

Because of the botched breath tests, not only are all the DUI suspects awaiting trial in Seattle off the hook for their breath test results, but going back three years, everyone who faces DUI conviction based on breath test evidence from this lab may now have grounds for an appeal.