MADD asks Everyone to be Safe this Halloween

By Mary Ann

Mothers Against Drunk Driving issued a statement asking people to designate a sober driver this Halloween weekend during festivities.  The group is especially concerned since Halloween falls on a Friday this year.

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, 66 people were killed in DUI accidents last year from October 30 to November 1 in 2007.

To be safe this Halloween, MADD advices:

  • People find a sober driver before celebrations begin;
  • People under 21 are not served alcohol;
  • If you are planing a party, include non-alcoholic drink options for people and do no serve alcohol the last hour of the party; and
  • Be ready to make sure everyone gets home safe.

Have a Happy Halloween!



Reliever for the Rockies Arrested for a DUI

By Mary Ann

Early Monday morning, Luis Vizcaino was arrested for DUI in Tampa, FL, reported Sports Illustrated.  The 34-year-old is a reliever for the Colorado Rockies.

According to police reports, Vizcaino was driving 71 mph in a 45 mph zone.  When police pulled him over, they noticed his eyes were bloodshot and glassy.  He smelled of alcohol as well.

When he took a blood alcohol content test, his blood alcohol level was over the legal limit.



In Total DUI News Spotlight

By Mary Ann

Homework Assignment Inspires DUI Bill

According to a report by the Bulletin, Paul Clymer has introduced legislation that would require mandatory ignition interlock devices for all DUI offenders.

Clymer’s idea for the new legislation came from a 14-year-old boy.

Read more about how the high school sophomore’s homework assignment turned into a purposed DUI law.

The Case for Tougher DUI Penalties

A case involving a Kansas DUI arrest has Kansas residents demanding a change in the state’s DUI law and insisting on stiffer DUI penalties for repeat offenders.

Find out what these tougher laws would mean for people with a DUI conviction.



Yankee’s pitcher charged with DUI

By Mary Ann

According to The Associated Press, Joba Chamberlain has been arrested for DUI, speeding and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.  He was stopped for speeding on U.S. 77 near his hometown of Lincoln, Neb. on Saturday morning around one.

Reports are surfacing that the pitcher was in an altercation with a Red Sox fan at a strip club before the incident.

Originally, the press was reporting that the fan was taunting Chamberlain about his team; however, people at the bar are now saying that those comments were good-natured and the real fight began over a woman taking pictures of Chamberlain on her cell phone.



Are strict DUI laws really that strict?

By Mary Ann

After four-year-old Jon Port’s death in 1991, a grass-roots movement began to get stricter DUI laws passed in Wisconsin.

Finally in 1999, a law was passed that made a fifth offense of drinking and driving a felony.  The Wisconsin government hoped this new law would keep repeat offenders of DUIs off the road.

However, the Journal Sentinel completed an analysis that found that less than half the people sentenced for a felony DUI in Milwaukee County go to prison.

The survey looked at all criminal convictions for people convicted of five DUI offenses.  There were 161 fifth offense cases from 1999 to 2006.

According to the report, only 70 defendants went to prison, while most got their sentence reduced by completing boot camps, treatment programs or petitioning the judge.  The survey also found that about 25% of the people with fifth-offense convictions have already re-offended at least once.



This week on Total DUI

By Mary Ann

Ohio judges violate DUI law

Under a 2004 Ohio law, drivers with multiple DUI convictions who still need to drive under provisional driver’s licenses are required to have special DUI license plates assigned to their vehicles.

The DUI law mandates that judges order the DUI license plates.

Approximately 33,000 drivers in Ohio have five or more DUI convictions, only 8,500 vehicles in the entire state had been issued the special DUI license plates as of the end of last year.



Mid-tryst, couple finds out where they parked

By Mary Ann

In the early morning hours of October 5, a couple was caught by police having sex in their car, reported The Chicago Tribune.

While that might not be an unusual act for officers to find couples in parked cars committing, it is unusual to bust someone for trysting in handicapped spot in a police station parking lot.

A Pennsylvania couple was caught in the Hellertown police station parking lot, after someone called to report a suspicious vehicle parked in front of the station.

The driver, Dennis Conor Cullen, and his female passenger admitted that they were unaware about where they had parked or that they were surrounded by several marked police cars.

Cullen was charged with a DUI after admitting that he had been drinking at a Lehigh University function earlier in the evening.



Google Launches Application to Stop you from Drunk E-mailing

By Mary Ann

For all of you that have ever come home from a good night a little tipsy and logged into your gmail account to do some emailing you will regret in the morning, google has a solution for you.

Google’s Mail Goggles requires you to solve a few simple math problems before you can send your message, reported The Chicago Tribune.

And if you are coherrent enough to solve the few problems, then Google feels you are sober enough to handle the rebercussions.

In order to activate the new application, you just have to the go to ‘settings’ at the top of your account and then click on the ‘labs’ section.



This week on Total DUI

By Mary Ann

ACLU Says Challenges to Ohio’s No Refusal Law Likely

Under the new Ohio DUI law, drivers who have had two or more DUI convictions can be forced by authorities to submit to a blood or urine test to determine their blood alcohol content.

Previously, the law had required that authorities obtain a search warrant from a judge to test a DUI suspect’s blood or urine in situations where no consent was given.

Civil liberties advocates are speaking out about the new DUI law in Ohio, saying that they believe it is unconstitutional.

Find out more about the debate on this new law.

Utah’s Fruitless New Liquor Law

Utah lawmakers have been at it again. The state already has some of the strangest and strictest liquor sales laws in the country, but apparently legislators still felt that there was some tinkering to be done.

Now Utah has become the first state to ban some fruity alcoholic drink sales.

Read the full article.

Party Bus Driver Playing Police or Parent?

And with this time of the year comes pumpkin carving, sweaters and Homecoming – a quasi-holiday for schools that runs from September to November.

Students can’t wait for festivities, which usually mean an early dismissal for a pep rally, parade, football game and dance.

Maybe you or some of your friends drank after the dance – or maybe even before the dance. You were all underage and alcohol is prohibited on school property, but that was a part of the Homecoming ritual – no big deal.

Except for some teenagers in Highland Park, IL, underage drinking became a big deal.

Read more about the controversey here.



Man Arrested after Driving through House

By Mary Ann

According to WTVH, 70 year-old Charles Hartmann took a detour on his way home September 27.  A little before 8pm on Saturday, Hartmann drove his car through his neighbor’s house in Hastings, NY.

He drove through the front of the house, through the living room, into the bedroom and out the back.  The total damage is estimated at $50,000.

Hartmann was arrested and charged with felony DUI, reckless driving and others.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  The owner of the house had stepped out of her bed when she heard the car enter the house.

Police reported that when the tow truck removed the car, the bed was underneath it.



Total DUI News

By Mary Ann

Could DUIs across state borders lead to leniency?

The Belleville News-Democrat began an investigation after questions arose about one Alton man’s driving record. Frank M. Durr was charged with a misdemeanor DUI and allowed to strike a plea bargain for a lesser traffic offense.

However, the prosecutors in Madison County were unaware that Durr had a DUI conviction in Missouri from 1999.

If they had known, the prosecutors would not have been as lenient in their plea bargain.  The Illinois Secretary of State conducted a check per request of the Belleville News-Democrat revealing that of 17 drivers in Illinois that have been charged with a DUI in Missouri, four people’s DUI convictions are not on their driving records.

Read the full article.

When is a DUI not a DUI?

On September 21 in Tarpon Springs, Florida, a Pinellas County deputy spotted a car traveling at a high rate of speed.  The driver reportedly smelled of alcohol and declined to take a breath test, but instead of being arrested for Florida DUI, he was allowed to call for a sober ride.

The Tampa Tribune reported that the driver of the 2007 Dodge Charger stopped for speeding that morning was a Pasco County deputy.  In this case, our officers telling us that it’s fine for deputies to drink and drive – recklessly – in their personal vehicles.

Read more.



Man charged for DUI after Blowing his Horn

By Mary Ann

According to the Post Star in New York, a man was arrested for an aggravated DUI after he was excessively blowing his horn while driving in Glens Falls, NY.

Police said that Rodney Northey, of Gansevoort, told them he was blowing his horn to letting people know he was in town.

After Northey was pulled over, police found that his blood alcohol level was .23%.  He was charged with aggravated DWI and ticketed for excessively blowing his horn.