MADD and Police Join Hands in Pilot Program

By Mary Ann

Law enforcement won’t be the only ones out on the road this Labor Day weekend. Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Manatee Country Sheriff’s Department in Florida will be working together on a “first in the nation” program that will put trained MADD observers on the road to watch and report for potential drunk drivers.

The MADD volunteers will add to the high visibility enforcement many counties across the nation will be implementing. Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube announced that there would also be DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols on the road this weekend.

The volunteer teams will be in unmarked, private vehicles and using their personal cell phones to communicate with police. When people see drivers that are demonstrating signs of impairment, they will contact the sheriff’s department to respond to the situation.

The pilot program will be assessed after operating for six months to look at data collected about response times, percentage of arrests, number of observations and more.

Read more about this program in the following article:

MADD Volunteers to Deputize Themselves



Tenth Time is a Charm

By Mary Ann

Janet Landrum of Ellenton, Fla., was arrested on Saturday, August 23 for the tenth time for DUI. The 41-year-old woman has been arrested nine other times in the past 20 years in four states.

Landrum was driving with a passenger on Saturday at 2:20 am when she was pulled over for weaving, continually tapping on her brakes and making a wild lane change. Landrum had reportedly just met her passenger at the bar and was driving because the other person was too drunk to drive.

Deputy Lee Harrington arrested Landrum after she failed sobriety tests and had a .112 blood-alcohol level, according to a report.

Landrum has also been picked up for DUI in Kentucky in 1988, Tennessee in 1988 and 1993, Georgia in 1999 and 2001, and Florida in 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2005.

The records show that there was a second DUI arrest in 2002 but the charge was later reduced. Landrum could face up to five years in prison because of her number of convictions.

As long as no one is hurt or killed, a first DUI offense in Florida is considered a misdemeanor , but it becomes a felony if there is a third conviction within ten years.



Geosat 6 with Breathalyzer Now Available to the Public

By Mary Ann

Italian GPS equipment manufacturer AvMap announced on Thursday, August 14 that the Geosat 6 Drive Safe satellite navigation system is now available to the public.

Originally developed for the Peugeot 107 Sweet Year, the navigator features the largest 16:9 widescreen available, Bluetooth and a built-in breathalyzer to help drivers figure out whether it is safe for them to drive and tell them if they are above the alcohol limit.

The compact 133 x 83 x 21mm device also include such functions as text-to-speech, stop planner and trip computer.



College Presidents Support a Lower Drinking Age

By Mary Ann

The debate of what the legal drinking age should be is taking an interesting turn. College Presidents across the country are seeking “an informed and dispassionate debate” over the issue.

Using several studies to support their claims, 100 presidents are claiming that lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18 will help discourage binge drinking on college campuses.

However, groups dedicated to fighting DUI are strongly opposed to the idea and feel that the lower drinking age would lead to more fatal accidents.

Each side presents statistics to back up their side in an article published yesterday on



The Onion Goes Statistical…err, Satirical on DUI

By Mary Ann

Delivering their usual satirical take with all the news that’s (un)fit to print, the latest issue of The Onion provided this little news item on DUI:

According to a report released Monday by the National Institutes of Health, 93 percent of those who get behind the wheel while intoxicated arrive at their homes safe and sound, just like they told everybody they would.

The article goes on to send up more reasoning by drunk drivers: “‘Roughly 64 percent of drunk drivers have cousins who are cops anyway, so it’s really no big deal.’ The study concluded that a mere one in 15 drunk drivers end up dying in a cascading torrent of fire, so, you know, odds.”

While not always the most politically correct, it’s nice to know The Onion remembers DUI offenders in its weekly sendup of the news.