Jul

30

Ontario Enacts Tougher Drinking and Driving Restrictions for Teens

By Topher

Starting soon, Ontario will initiate the most strict age restrictions on DUI and drunk driving in Canada.

The new DUI laws will kick in on August 1, according to an article in The Waterloo Region-Record.

Under the new laws, drivers under the age of 22 won’t be able to drink a drop of alcohol, or take a single sip, before they drive a car.

The announcement came down from Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne. Drivers under 21 won’t be allowed to have any alcohol in their blood while they are driving, regardless of what type of driver’s license they have.

Canada has a graduated series of licenses leading up to the G license, which allows drivers to operate any car, van or small truck and trailer up to a certain size. The G1 license allows a driver to drive in the presence of a fully licensed driver who has at least four years of driving experience.

A G2 license allows a driver to drive without accompaniment, but it comes with other restrictions on the number of passengers and the time of night they can carry passengers.

Even before the new legislation goes into effect, G1 and G2 drivers were not allowed to have any alcohol in their system when they are behind the wheel. With the new laws, only G license holders who are over the age of 21 are allowed to have alcohol in their system that does not exceed the legal blood-alcohol limit of .05 percent.

The legislation is only now taking effect, after having been passed back in 2009.

There was dispute surrounding the legislation, and lawmakers removed a provision that would have limited the number of passengers that a teenage driver could have in the car.

Drivers who are caught violating the new law will have their license immediately suspended for 24 hours, and they will face a future suspension and a possible fine of up to $500 Canadian dollars.

Emna Dhahak, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation, told The Waterloo Region-Record that the legislation is “based on sound research and analysis.”

16-year-old Easton Page agreed with the law. “Mixing alcohol and young drivers doesn’t usually work out,” he said. “If you’re going to be behind the wheel you need to be completely in the right mind and focus on what you’re doing. You can’t have that taken away from you.”

Another young person felt that the law may single out young people. “I think that it’s a really good idea for people who are just learning to drive,” said Meghan Garber. “But I think it’s unfair how they target the younger people.”

Andy Murie, who is CEO of MADD Canada, offered that skeptics should check the numbers.

Those aged 16 to 24 represent 13 percent of the Canadian population, but account for 33 percent of DUI deaths. “They don’t just kill themselves,” said Murie. “They kill passengers, their friends, and they kill innocent people. They don’t get to choose when this is their performance.”

Accord to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the peak ages for DUI collisions are between 19 and 21.

Jul

27

Illinois DUI Judge Convicts Driver of 15 Counts of DUI

By Topher

An Illinois DUI judge threw the book at 25-year-old Edward Clark after he hit and killed David Long and his dog Shadow, who were out walking early one morning last year.

The judge convicted Cook of reckless homicide, 15 counts of DUI, and one count of unlawful possession of a converted motor vehicle back in May.

Cook was driving down the residential street at a speed of about 50 miles per hour in Batavia, Illinois when he veered off the road and onto the sidewalk, hitting Long and Shadow. Cook was driving a 2003 white Ford Acura that he had borrowed from a friend without permission, according to CBS 2 Chicago.

The toxicology report showed that Cook had alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine in his system, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Cook maintains that he does not have a problem with drugs or alcohol, but his driving privileges had been revoked in 2008 due to an aggravated DUI. Cook was still on parole for that offense at the time of the crash.

Cook also has numerous drug, battery, and theft charges, but has never actually completed one of the sentences for these crimes.

The judge took that into consideration during the sentencing. The judge felt that since Cook doesn’t feel that he has any problems, he should be kept off the streets in order to keep others safe at the very least.

Long’s wife and the Illinois state prosecutors pushed for more, but the judge said case law would not support a charge of first degree murder. Instead, Cook will serve consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences, leading to a full amount of jail time of fifteen years. He will probably be out on parole in 10 years.

Cook refrained from making a statement to the judge, but did tell his mother that he loved her as he was being led out of the courtroom. Cook has never publicly apologized for killing David Long and his best friend.

Susan Long is satisfied with the sentence, but notes “this is another one of those stories that starts with drinking alcohol and ends with tragedy.”

Jul

25

Difficulties Face DUI Arresting Officers

By Topher

The police often find themselves in unexpected – and sometimes dangerous – situations, especially when it comes to DUI arrests.

This week featured a number of unfortunate interactions between police and those charged with drunk driving.

In Massachusetts, a trooper was hit by a car driven by an allegedly drunk driver, and it sent him to the hospital. He was recently released from the hospital, but the driver will face arraignment in court, according to the News Telegram.

Captain Frank Hughes was in an intersection directing traffic around midnight after a concert and fireworks show on the fourth of July. The crash threw the trooper onto the hood of the driver’s Nissan Maxima. The driver did not stop for the trooper, even after he caused what a spokesman called “serious injuries.”

Franklin Morales, the alleged driver, faces charges of DUI, negligent driving and DUI causing serious bodily injury. According to the charge, the driver went straight instead of heeding the captain’s traffic directions. Morales registered a .15 blood-alcohol content, and failed field sobriety tests.

Also in Massachusetts, a man stopped and arrested for DUI was also charged with kicking a trooper and threatening him.

John Ross tried to run away from police on foot after he was arrested on Interstate 81. He was described by police as “very combative.” When he was taken to the hospital, he screamed profanities at the hospital staff.

There was also the threat that he made to police, who said that he “made a comment about shooting” the trooper who arrested him. Ross was charged with aggravated assault, terrorist threats, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, DUI, public drunkenness and harassment, according to Public Opinion.

A Pennsylvania man faces DUI and aggravated harassment by a prisoner charges after he repeatedly spit on the officer who arrested him for DUI, according to the York Daily Record.

Ross Eugene Bricker almost hit Officer Thomas Kibler’s patrol car in his pickup truck. Kibler stopped him, and Bricker admitted to drinking and failed a field sobriety test.

Then, as Kibler was driving Bricker to the booking station, Bricker allegedly spit at the officer, hitting him in the top of the head.

Jul

23

Guide to Lindsay Lohan’s DUI Prison Stay

By Topher

Lindsay Lohan will be doing time for her DUI offense.

That’s 90 days in jail, though it’s unlikely she’ll serve the whole stint.

Some sources say that she was experiencing some serious anxiety about her time behind bars. Who wouldn’t?

“She’s really nervous,” someone close to Lohan to told E! News. “She is still hoping she is not going to jail.”

Unfortunately for the starlet, Lohan will be spending at least some time in the clink.

Lohan will soon report to the jail to begin serving her sentence, although overcrowding causes many sentences to be shortened.

Lohan will appear in court, and then she will be taken to the Century Regional Detention Facility, in Lynnwood, California. Here are a few things that E! News wants you to know about the impending jail sentence of a young woman convicted of DUI.

Lohan Isn’t the First Celebrity Starlet to Spend Time in Lynnwood

Paris Hilton once stayed in the same facility. In 2007 she spent 23 days serving time for violating the probation on a reckless driving charge.

Khloe Kardashian Odom once spent four-and-a-half hours in Lynnwood for violating her own DUI charge. While Khloe was there, she was placed in solitary confinement. The jail received three bomb threats during her stay, though it’s unclear why.

Nicole Richie did a tough 82 minutes of time for her own 2007 DUI conviction.

Even Lindsay Lohan herself served 84 minutes in 2007 from DUI arrests that year.

Rules of the DUI Road

Lohan won’t get any preferential treatment in lock-up. She’ll be allowed visitors during much of the day on weekends. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous hold daily meetings inside, and numerous ministries operate in the jail. Also, there is no smoking at Lynnwood, so Lohan will have to do without her nicotine fix.

Ladies Only

The Century Regional Detention Facility is a female-only facility, with 1,800 inmates.

When Paris Hilton served time, she had good things to say about the populace, saying that her fellow inmates were “very supportive.” She talked to her fellow inmates from cell to cell.

Lohan will be in a 12-foot-by-8-foot cell with two bunk beds, a toilet, a sink, a stool, table and a six-inch window. She will be separated from other prisoners because of her status.

Jul

21

DUI Arrest After Woman Drives into Kohl’s Department Store

By Topher

Finding a parking spot at a popular store can be tricky. But the spot Kentucky resident Whitney Lochmueller left her SUV was definitely taken.

Lockmueller’s SUV landed in the women’s department of Kohl’s after her she collided with another vehicle, accelerated, hit a tree and went through the store’s front wall.

The driver was charged with DUI after police found her incoherent and confused at the scene, reports WKYT. Police found a bottle of the painkiller Tramadol in Lochmueller’s vehicle. Though the prescription was filled the day before already a significant number of pills were missing from the bottle, WKYT reports.

After finding her incoherent and confused at the scene, police later charged Lockmueller with DUI. Although she had no alcohol in her system, a DUI arrest may be made if the driver is under the influence of any substance.

She was also charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that the Tramadol “may make you drowsy and may affect your coordination. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.” And that’s assuming she took the recommended dose.

Mrs. Lochmueller’s six-year-old twin sisters were in the SUV’s backseat. No one received major injuries in the crash, though the passengers of the Suburban were taken to the emergency room for some minor injuries.

Luckily, no one inside the store or out on the sidewalk was harmed. Shoppers lent a helping hand to the passengers of the out-of-place vehicle. Once all of the riders were removed, it became the store’s priority to remove the SUV from its impromptu showroom. That process took several hours of hard work by the local fire department.

The store reopened at 8 am the following day after a surprisingly quick clean up. Kohl’s issued a statement that they were very glad no one was hurt, and that they hoped to have the damage completely repaired in a week or so.

Hopefully from now on Ms. Lochmueller will attempt to find a spot that, while not perfect, is also on the outside of the store.

Jul

19

Explaining Celebrity DUI Arrests

By Topher

It seems on the surface that there have been a lot of celebrity DUIs lately, whether you’re talking about Chris Klein, Lindsay Lohan, Motley Crue musician Vince Neil or any one of several stars from “The Hills.”

So what’s the deal with all of the celebrity DUI arrests? Fox411 digs into this question in a recent article. In it, they ask whether the uptick in offenses has to do with more celebrities breaking the law, or with law enforcement techniques that are busting more DUI offenders in general.

According to California DUI lawyer Neil Shouse, “There has been a prominent step up in law enforcement. A lot more people call in to report drunk drivers and there are a lot more DUI checkpoints. The California Highway Patrol has also become much more aggressive.”

Shouse also cited an increase in funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to curb DUI, which we have covered on the blog before.

A representative from the LAPD confirmed the increase in police presence working to curb drunk driving.

Despite the higher levels of prevention and enforcement, one would think that celebrities could afford to take cabs or get one of the members of their entourage to be the designated driver for the night. However, that’s not always the case.

One star, actor Kiefer Sutherland, turned down the opportunity to have a personal driver take him home on the night that he was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

According to some, there are psychological forces at play when it comes to celebrities who are willing to risk driving while drunk.

DUI attorney Shouse told Fox411 that “stars often see themselves as having a sense of immunity and a very dangerous false sense of security.” New Jersey lawyer Darren Del Sardo suggested that celebrities might drink to escape the daily scrutiny that a modern life in the spotlight can entail.

Entertainment reporter Scott Huver offered a cynical attitude: “There is a breed of young star who, seeing the press that Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan generate from their legal problems, somehow believes any publicity is somehow good publicity.”

It is perhaps hard to imagine how the legal repercussions of a DUI could help a young performer’s career, but in a way that may be what the public finds so attractive about the Hollywood set, that being their unpredictability.

Jul

16

Virginia DUI Arrest Turns into Funny Money Bust

By Topher

In Prince William County, Virginia, a DUI arrest turned into a counterfeit currency bust when police discovered that the two men being arrested had three odd-looking $100 bills in their possession.

According to the Washington Post, police nabbed the two men on what they thought was a routine suspicion of drunk driving stop. When the police officer searched the men, though, he found several $100 bills that didn’t look quite right.

What tipped him off was a message written next to Benjamin Franklin’s head that read “BILLETE DE LA SUERTE ALASITAS.” According to the Washington Post, it denotes the bill as a good luck ticket for the festival of Alasitas, which is a festival held every year in Peru and Bolivia. At the festivals, bills of this kind are handed out widely in casinos and elsewhere.

Apparently these bills are available on eBay, from a seller operating out of England.

The officer determined that the bills were counterfeit, and police investigated the strange bills further. They found that the driver’s friend had even more of the bills, and when they searched his house they found 59 more.

According to the U.S. Secret Service, these bills have appeared in the Federal Reserve Bank 125 times. In other words, someone has accepted this type of bill as real currency at least 125 times over the years.

Federal prosecutors were not interested in pursuing the case of the drunk drivers who were caught with counterfeit cash, so instead the county will handle the case. County police were not aware of the bills actually being passed as real anywhere.

One man, Jose Portillio, got charged with drunk driving, refusal to take a Breathalyzer test, possession of fictitious bank notes and possession of a false work card. The other man, Ronald Virto, was charged with possessing more than ten fictitious bank notes, passing fictitious bank notes, and drunk driving charges.

Many times DUI arrests lead to additional charges. This appears to be one of those cases, when one offense clues police onto another and a DUI suspect must answer additional charges, too.

Jul

14

Tennessee DUI Arrest Blamed on Baking Ingredient

By Topher

Kelly Moss, a resident of Germantown, Tennessee, is facing DUI charges after drinking more vanilla than she could handle.

CBS News reports that Moss’ car had jumped up over the curb and both of the front wheels were on the curb at a middle school. She narrowly missed hitting a telephone pole.

The police found Moss slumped over the wheel, apparently unable to stand, according to KWGN news. The National Ledger adds that according to a police affidavit, Moss’s speech was also slurred and she refused to comply with field sobriety tests or blood alcohol tests.

But her breath gave Moss away. Police report that she smelled strongly of vanilla. After searching her car they found a receipt for two 8-oz. bottles of the common baking ingredient, reports ABC News.

Vanilla extract is 35 percent alcohol by volume. When doled out by the teaspoon for chocolate chip cookies it’s harmless.

Moss was using slightly more, though she didn’t drink her vanilla straight. She mixed almost an entire bottle of the stuff with Diet Coke first to concoct an atypical cocktail.

According to experts, this is not an uncommon way for alcoholics to “cope” with their alcohol abuse issues.

Sam Palmer, a recovering alcoholic who was at the scene, told ABC News reporters that abusers would try to get their drugs any way they could, including mouthwash, Geritol, and Robitussin.

Drug counselor Carolyn Bryant agreed, “Instead of the drug that may be their drug of choice, that may be they have been arrested for or got in trouble about, they take something that will give them that same effect”. She suggested a 12-step program for Moss, and urged women everywhere to get help if they need it.

If Moss thought drinking vanilla would help her avoid a DUI she was wrong.

This is Moss’s third DUI arrest, and she has been charged with driving under the influence and refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test. She will be back in court on August 19 to determine her fate.

Tennessee DUI laws
call for up to a year in prison, $10,000 in fines, and the judge may order an ignition interlock device installed at his discretion. She is also subject to vehicle seizure or forfeit, and may have to attend DUI school.

Hopefully, Ms. Moss will get things turned around, and this DUI will be her last. And hopefully, she will stick to the proper use of vanilla from here on out: Dessert.

Jul

12

Driver in Chicago DUI Crash Convicted

By Topher

After an eight-day trial, an Illinois jury has convicted Sandra Vasquez of aggravated drunken driving and reckless homicide in the deaths of five teens.

On February 11, 2007, about 30 teens were found partying in a Suburban Chicago home. A parent broke up the party and sent the teens home. Vasquez’s younger sister was at the party, and when Vasquez arrived to pick her up, seven other teens asked Vasquez to drive them home. Vasquez agreed, and the teens literally piled into her small sedan.

According to the Chicago Tribune, two teenagers were sharing the front passenger seat, four other teens were jammed into the back seat, and two other teenagers were on top of those teenagers’ laps.

A few minutes later, as the car was driving 70 mph down the highway, Vasquez swerved and then veered into a light pole. The two teens in the front of the car, and the two laying on the laps of the teens in back died instantly. One of the other teens died eight days later from his injuries. Vasquez and the other three teens, including her sister, also suffered injuries.

Vasquez admitted that she may have had as many as four drinks, but said she was not drunk. Chicago Breaking News reports that expert testimony showed that her blood alcohol level could have been as high as 0.124, putting her well over the legal limit. However, her blood alcohol level could have been as low as 0.04, the defense argued, because her liver was damaged in the accident, making testing difficult.

Vasquez was arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated drunken driving leading to death, six counts of aggravated drunken driving causing serious bodily harm, and five counts of reckless homicide. She spent the three years between the accident and trial out on bail by posting her parents’ home as collateral. She has lived “like a saint” since the accident, according to the Beacon News, spending her time taking care of her children, four and eight years old, and adhering to the rules of her probation.

The jury finally delivered its verdict on the crash on Wednesday, June 30: Guilty on 21 counts. Some members of the jury were visibly crying, clearly upset by what they considered their civic duty, reported the Naperville Sun. Most of the families of the victims consider the guilty verdict to be justice, but feel sympathy for Vasquez.

Vasquez’s attorney points out, however, that a woman trying to do the right thing by clearly intoxicated teenagers is also a victim of this terrible situation, and plans to ask for probation based on extreme circumstances. The District Attorney has already said that he will not cooperate with this request.

Ms. Vasquez’s bail has already been revoked, though she was given the chance to call her two children before being sent to jail. She will be sentenced in August and could face a maximum sentence of up to twenty-eight years behind bars.

Jul

10

University of Georgia Athletic Director Resigns After DUI Arrest

By Topher

University of Georgia Athletic Director Damon Evans has since issued a public apology and resigned from his position following his arrest on DUI charges, according to the Atlanta Journal-Consititution.

The resignation followed a conference call that Evans had with members of the school’s executive committee of the athletic association’s board of directors. Evans offered his “sincerest apology” to University of Georgia fans, student-athletes, coaches and officials, as well as to his wife.

“It had been my hope since taking the job in 2004 that I would have a long career at UGA,” Evans said. “But because of a serious mistake in judgment, that won’t be the case, and I understand that I have a long road to rebuilding my reputation and career.”

Evans, who was only 34-years-old when he was hired as the school’s athletic director in 2004, was arrested in Atlanta, late at night. He was charged with DUI and with failure to maintain a lane. A companion of his was also arrested at the time, for disorderly conduct. Evans claimed that the woman, Courtney Fuhrmann, was just a friend of his, while Fuhrmann said that she had been seeing the athletic director for “only a week or so,” according to the Associated Press.

Evans recently met with a lawyer, Edward Tolley, of the Athens, Georgia, law firm Cook, Noell, Tolley, Bates and Michael.

“I explained to Damon in general terms what the law is,” said Tolley. “I’m sending him to somebody who is an expert with the law in this area and familiar with the Atlanta judicial system. Local representation is important in cases like this.”

Tolley is associated with the Georgia Athletic Association, so he recommended that Evans seek individual counsel to handle the DUI case. Tolley recommended the lawyer Steve Weiner, whom he called an expert in the field of DUI arrest.

Evans, who is married with two kids, was the first African-American athletic director hired at the University of Georgia. There is no word from UGA officials about a replacement for Evans in the athletic director position.

Evans will receive three months in severance pay after his resignation, as well as a $100,000 longevity bonus.

Jul

9

Holdout Juror Leads to Mistrial in San Diego DUI Case

By Topher

A recent DUI case in San Diego was declared a mistrial after a single juror held off from deciding whether the defendant was behind the wheel when a car struck another vehicle and killed four people, according to 10 News.

Deanna Fridley was on trial in the case in which the four were killed in Pala Casino, California. Fridley claimed that she was not the driver of the car that got into the deadly December 14, 2007, accident, and one of the jurors in the case would not conclude that it was her, leading to the mistrial.

The jurors in the case informed the judge that they had reached an 11-1 deadlock. They had been apart for a holiday break, and on their return they announced that they could not come to a unanimous agreement on the charges.

Fridley was also accused of DUI causing injury and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license.

Judge Runston Maino, serving in the case, declined to enact a motion by the prosecution to replace the juror with an alternate juror. “You haven’t failed as jurors; you haven’t failed as individuals,” he told the jurors in light of their lack of unanimity.

Fridley, 26, faced four 15-years-to-life sentences if she had been convicted in the case. Her defense attorney, James Boyd, addressed the media after the mistrial was declared, saying that he was “really happy” with the result. “My question,” he said, “is how is it that 11 of them actually thought she was driving? It’s a real who-done-it. Was she driving or not?”

A retrial of the case could come in six to eight months, and there will be a status update in July.

According to prosecutors, Fridley was driving over 85 miles per hour and swerved over the lane divider before crashing into and killing Luis De Santiago, his wife Lina, and Luis Baez and his wife Rubi. They also claimed that Fridely had spent the day smoking meth and drinking with a friend. Fridley was allegedly driving a GMC Yukon, while the victims were in a Toyota Camry.

Fridley testified that she had switched seats with her friend before the crash. The friend, Anthony Boles, denies this claim.

Fridley will remain in custody, and her bail is set at $1 million.

Jul

7

South Dakota DUI Clusters Create Loophole

By Topher

In South Dakota, there is a legal loophole in DUI court cases that may be enabling those arrested for DUI to get off the hook for offenses that might otherwise be punishable, according to an article in the Rapid City Journal.

The situations are somewhat exceptional, dealing with those arrested for DUI multiple times within a very short period of time. In these so-called DUI clusters, one case might still be left open and without a conviction entered on the record when another DUI arrest occurs with the same person.

Because of constitutional presumption of an innocence, a person may be facing two charges of a first DUI at the same time, and not have to deal with the escalated consequences of multiple offenses.

Take the case of 53-year-old Barbara Van Ekeren. She was arrested for DUI for the first time on May 1, 2009. She pled guilty, and was given a suspended imposition of sentence that July. Her file remained open, and the conviction did not appear on her record.

She got arrested for DUI again soon after that, in November. She was charged with first offense DUI for that arrest as well. Then, in February, she was arrested again. She was able to plead guilty to second offense DUI for both of these arrests, rather than pleading guilty to third offense DUI.

She served 15 days in jail, as per the judge’s order, for these second offense pleas. The loophole occurred because the DUI arrests were so close together. These clustered DUIs enable some of the worst DUI offenders to avoid felony convictions.

According to the president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Lila Doud, Van Ekeren is getting a freebie for one of the DUIs by avoiding the third offense conviction. She has publically voiced her frustration about the law, and told the Rapid City Journal that this sort of freebie DUI situation occurs frequently.

Doud blames the law’s systematic treatment of DUI for their ability to leave with the lesser sentence in the cases.

“When they’re not sentenced on their first one and end up getting the second, they’ve got a freebie,” she said.

According to prosecutors, they are limited by the constitutional presumption of innocence. MADD officials as well as state leaders agree that there should be something done to be tougher on these repeat offenders, but that it’s not a simple fix. The legal system’s methodical nature make change slow to come and difficult to finalize.

Currently causing the loophole is the law that DUI offenses can’t be escalated to the next level until the defendant has pleaded guilty or has been found guilty, the Pennington County State’s Attorney Glenn Brenner said. “But in order to get a third offense, you have to have two prior convictions and in order to get a fourth offense, it’s not good enough to have three prior convictions. You have to have a third offense felony DUI before you can enhance to a fourth offense.”

At the root of the issue is the presumption of innocence. Cases can’t be escalated without a conviction, and these can take months, even while repeat offenders with alcohol addictions pile up DUI arrests.

“We need to get them through the system faster,” said Doud.

South Dakota extensively combats DUI with billboard campaigns and police presence, and Rapid City police chief Steve Allender believes that there are fewer drunk drivers on the road now. “Every day and night, we are looking for the drunk driver,” he said.

Jul

6

Tennessee Woman Arrested for DUI 4 Times in 4 Months

By Topher

Nichole Santos celebrated her 21st birthday just six months ago. Taking her new drinking privilege to new extremes, between then and now, she has been arrested for DUI four times.

That’s a rate of one DUI per month since February.

The most recent DUI ended with a dramatic accident. The car that Santos was driving left the road and came to rest 285 feet later. On the way there, it knocked down three light poles.

Santos was driving home from the bar at the time of the accident, and she was driving drunk.

This marked her fourth DUI in as many months, according to Clarksville police. Her first DUI arrest was on February 2, her second was on April 10 and the third was on May 21. The latest arrest came on June 27.

This was not Santos’ first trouble with DUI. In 2007, when Santos was just 18, she was convicted of her first DUI.

Citizens in Clarksville are concerned about how Santos’ has been able to repeatedly offend. “It really shows we need to tighten our laws,” said Mothers Against Drunk Driving Tennessee executive director Laura Dial. “A system that allows that to happen is flawed.”

Dial continued by saying that the Santos case highlights the need for a mandatory interlock law in Tennessee. Such laws would force repeat offenders to have ignition locking devices on their cars that test a driver’s blood-alcohol content before turning the car on.

Tennessee recently passed a version of an ignition interlock law that made them optional.

Another DUI law lets judges in DUI cases label repeat DUI offenders as “dangerous.” In these cases, the judge can set no bond, or set the bond as extraordinarily high, to keep those repeat offenders behind bars. This is not a mandatory law and is applied at the judges’ discretion.

Speaking about the current legal situation, Dial said “You get arrested for a DUI, you do a little time in jail, you get told not to drive. That doesn’t work with a DUI offender.”

In Santos’ case, she was able to make her $5,000 bond hours after she was arrested, and was back home by the next Monday.

Santos hasn’t been convicted in any of her DUI arrests, as she awaits hearings in each one.

Jul

4

Detroit Lions Team President Arrested for DUI

By Topher

With the extended run of poor play and shabby team management the Detroit Lions have subjected their fans to, one might think that the executives responsible would do their best to avoid any more negative press.

But Detroit Lions team president Tom Lewand finds himself in hot water after a DUI arrest after failing a field sobriety test and registering a blood-alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit.

Lewand was pulled over by police after they saw that he was driving erratically. Lewand told the deputies that pulled him over that he was the designated driver, and that he had not had a drink in a year and a half. Lewand’s story was that he had driven to a bar to pick up a friend.

The deputies smelled alcohol coming from the driver’s side of the vehicle, despite the story that Lewand provided.

The police report described Lewand’s eyes as “glossy and bloodshot.” When Lewand was subjected to field sobriety tests, he could not, according to reports, walk heel to toe, balance on one leg, or touch his finger to his nose.

Lewand then took several breath tests, on which he registered a .21 and a .20 blood-alcohol content.

Lewand apologized for his behavior in a statement that he released over the weekend.

According to the Detroit Free-Press, Lewand had been participating in alcohol abuse treatment for several months preceding the arrest.

Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the National Football League, said that he plans on talking to Lewand about the arrest. Goodell has played a major role in disciplinary negotiations in more notorious cases like that of Michael Vick and his dog fighting conviction.

“Our policies apply to everyone,” said Goodell. “Yours truly, club presidents, players, coaches, everybody involved in the NFL. I think Tom recognizes that and, of course, I will speak to him in the near future, and we’ll be gathering the facts. Everybody’s accountable, and everyone’s responsible.”

Lewand had been in the area around Houghton Lake for a charity golf tournament, along with several members of the Lions football team.

Jul

2

Strange DUI Arrests for Drunk Drivers of Golf Carts & Wheel Chairs

By Topher

Some people assume if they’re not driving a car they can’t get arrested for DUI. That’s simply not the case, as the following folks found out during some unusual DUI arrests.

If you are driving any motorized vehicle drunk you could face DUI penalties. That’s what happened in these separate strange DUI stories involving a basketball player and a golf car, a moped and a wheelchair on the highway.

  • J.J. Hones will not be returning to the Stanford Cardinals for a fifth season after she found driving a golf cart in a “wreckless manner,” according to the NCAA’s website. After leading the police on a chase around the Stanford campus, she was arrested after failing a field sobriety test, and was released on bond.
  • An Australia man is giving new meaning to “asleep at the wheel.” The AP reports a man making a nine-mile trip from his home to a friend’s house was arrested after he was found sleeping on the highway exit ramp – in a motorized wheelchair. He was arrested and charged with DUI after registering a blood alcohol reading of 0.301. The man was found about 10 a.m. on a Friday morning.
  • Preferring a more conventional form of transportation , a 37-year-old Maryland man led police on a chase before crashing his moped. WGMD reports the moped driver was not injured. He was committed to Sussex County Correctional and charged with resisting arrest, a third DUI and other minor charges.
  • Some food might taste better after a few beers, but that doesn’t mean you should drive to go get it. A Tennessee woman learned that the hard way after they decided to go to Taco Bell for a late night snack and passed out behind the wheel while in the drive through lane. The vehicle apparently contained “several open beer cases” and pills that were not prescribed to any of the passengers, reports the AP. The police arrested the occupants of the vehicle.

So be careful this summer, and don’t let someone talk you into riding, oh say, a motorized couch to the bar for a couple cold ones.