Man arrested after 14th DUI

By Mary Ann

According to The Seattle Times, a 46 year-old man was arrested after being pulled over in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. during a routine traffic stop and an officer smelled alcohol on his breath.

Aaron Bridge has been arrested 14 times under the suspicion of DUI.

Court documents show that Bridge’s 14 arrest have been in the last 16 years, and he has been convicted at least four time in the last 10 years.

Bridge is charged with a felony DUI because of the felony DUI law that went into effect  in July 2007.  The law allows prosecutors to charge someone with a felony if he or she has four previous DUI offenses in the past 10 years.



DUI in the News

By Mary Ann

A new trial was granted to Renee Ellison after her Alaska DUI lawyer showed the judge that the jury did not hear about the victim’s previous injuries.

Ellison, 24, was originally convicted of Alaska DUI, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and two third-degree assault charges, facing up to 13 years in prison.  But she got a lucky break when the jury of her second trial convicted her of less charges, reducing her sentence to up to fiver years in prison.

At the beginning of 2009, the UK will be launching a new police surveillance network, and companies in the United States are hoping that the network will catch on here.

Redflex and American Traffic Solutions has been talking to government officials about increasing police surveillance with red light cameras and speed cameras.  The company will be introducing an optical character recognition that will allow police to capture video records of drivers and passengers.

Is Big Brother on the DUI Beat?



Arizona Judge Reverses Ruling on Breath Test Evidence

By Mary Ann

According to the Tucson Citizen, a Tucson City Court judge threw out breath test evidence in 19 alleged DUI cases.

On September 8, Judge Margarita Bernal ruled that testimony from a Superior Court case changed her mind about allowing the breath tests to be used in the trials.

In a statement given by Toby Hall, president of CMI, the company that makes the Intoxilyzer 8000, he cites anomalies, errors and issues that can have an impact on the machine’s reliability and credibility.  The Intoxilyzer 8000 machine and software is used in Arizona.

Recently, breath tests in more than 100 DUI cases in Tucson have been thrown out because of problems with CMI and the breathalyzer.  Many of these cases have been dismissed.



Nebraska Racks Up 80 DUI Arrests During Campaign

By Mary Ann

According to The Chadron News, Nebraska State Patrol arrested 80 motorists during the “You Drink & Drive, You Lose” DUI campaign.

The two-week long national campaign, running from August 15 to September 1, was the newest effort to get intoxicated drivers off the road over the Labor Day weekend.

Citations were issued for speeding, seat belt violation, child restraint violation as well as DUI offense.

During the two weeks, police wrote 1,444 tickets for speeding, 272 seat belt citations and warnings, 79 child restraint citations and warnings and 53 driving under suspension arrests.  Records show there were three fatalities over Labor Day weekend in Nebraska.



High School Student Driving 118 m.p.h. arrested for DUI

By Mary Ann

The Chicago Tribune reported that a high school student was pulled over after police clocked her car going 118 m.p.h. near Merrillville, Ind. on September 10.  The Crown Point, Ind. 17 year-old girl told police she was in a rush because she was going to be late for school.

According to the police report, the girl, driving a 2000 Toyota Celica, was pulled over for weaving in and out of traffic.  The officer detected the smell of alcohol.  During a breath test, the girl registered higher than .08%.

She was arrested for DUI and ticketed for reckless driving, unsafe lane movement, speeding and not having a driver’s license in her possession.



Near Collisions with Train Results in DUI

By Mary Ann

According to, Sandra B. Cook was charged with a DUI after her car got stuck on railroad tracks.  Officers alerted a train headed in the direction of the car, which was able to stop 100 yards away.

Around 5 am on Saturday, an Ocala police officer saw the woman’s 2001 Honda stuck on the tracks and called for assistance as well as alerted the train.

Officers detected alcohol on the breath of the 23 year-old woman, who bartends in Salt Springs.  Cook failed the sobriety test and consented to a breathalyzer, where she blew .077 twice.



UK Man Attempts to Beat the Test with Copper Penny

By Mary Ann


In Blackpool, a United Kingdom electrician tried unsuccessfully to beat a breathalyzer test with a copper coin in his mouth.  Martyn Shepherd, 47, was stopped while driving a Vauxhall Combo van in St. Annes.

According to the police report, Shepherd was not steady on his feet and had a copper coin in his mouth, which some believe will have an adverse influence on a breath test.  Shepherd had over 61 micrograms of alcohol in his system, although the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Shepherd plead guilty to driving with excess alcohol in front of the Blackpool magistrates.  He has been restricted from driving for 18 months and fined over 400 pounds.



Show Your Tickets at the Prom then Step in Line for a Breathalyzer Test

By Mary Ann

This school year, Albert Lea High School students in Minnesota will be taking a breathalyzer test before they are admitted into the prom.  School officials are taking to new measures in hopes of cutting back on teen drinking.

Students attending the prom will have to blow into a preliminary capture column of a breathalyzer.  A warning light will go on if alcohol is detected on someone’s breath.  The student will then be taken aside to have a preliminary breath test.

Those students who pass the first breath test will win a prize, and their name will be entered into a drawing for more prizes.  The school hopes to promote a safe and chemical-free prom.



Florida Man Arrested for Driving Drunk in School Zone

By Mary Ann

According to News 4 in Jacksonville, Fla., a Tampa man was arrested Wednesday, August 20 for DUI while in a school zone.

The police said that Michael Trotter Shaffer, 28, had a blood alcohol level of more than four times the legal limit.

Shaffer was arrested around 2pm after being pulled over by a deputy monitoring traffic in front of an elementary school.

The breath tests registered his blood alcohol level at .376 and .367.  The officers charged Shaffer with a DUI, driving with license revoked-habitual offender, battery of a law enforcement officer and obstructing or opposing an officer.



Three Strikes He’s Out?

By Mary Ann

Carnegie Mellon Professor Jeffrey Hunker was charged with three DUIs within an eight-day period between Sunday, August 17 and Sunday, August 24.

According to police, Hunker drove into his neighbor’s yard and hit their house in the first DUI.  His blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

Although police officers asked that Hunker be place in jail, the judge felt that the 28-day treatment program the professor entered into on Wednesday, August 27 was sufficient for the time being.

The University hasn’t announced any disciplinary action it will take at the moment.  Hunker’s court date is scheduled for September.



Drunk 12 year-old Found Driving Stolen Car

By Mary Ann

On Thursday, August 28, police arrested a drunk 12 year-old after she allegedly drove a stolen car, officers reported to the Calgary Herald.

The car was packed with young passengers when it was intercepted in Palmerston, a town in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Six of the passengers ran from the car after being pulled over, but police were able to catch four juvenile females.  The driver was also caught; she registered a blood alcohol level of .65%.  The legal blood alcohol limit in the Northern Territory is .05%.

The females that have been caught – aged 12 to 20 – were arrested.  Two others escaped and police are still looking for them.



Kiss and Tell

By Mary Ann

An 18-year-old college student told Mankato police the reason he scored a .063 reading on a breathalyzer was because he had been making out with a drunk female 30 minutes earlier.

Police found James A. Carroll stumbling on the street Saturday after campus security at Minnesota State University reported him around 2:45 am.

Police Cmdr. Amy Vokal said that it is not possible to get drunk from making out with another person because the breath that is tested is from the lungs.  Carroll was let go after being cited for underage consumption.