In Bayou George, Florida, a woman pulled over for suspected DUI has been arrested on additional charges, after she slipped out of police handcuffs as well as her clothes and allegedly assaulted a deputy following a car crash.
Samantha Wilson, a 22-year-old woman, was put in custody after she crashed her car at 4 p.m. on a Sunday. She was arrested when police suspected her of drunk driving, and that is when the real excitement began.
According to the NWF Daily News, notes from drunk driving police say that Wilson, whose hands were handcuffed in front of her, quickly slipped out of them the first time. Police re-handcuffed her, and put her in the front seat of a police cruiser.
But while highway patrol trooper Ken McNabb was putting her seatbelt on, Wilson, having once again freed herself from the handcuffs, punched him in the head.
McNabb was able to get the door of the cruiser closed, but Wilson escaped from her handcuffs again, and let herself out of the car. It was about then that she dropped her trousers and began to relieve herself next to the police vehicle. Her husband arrived soon after, pleading with her to stop urinating and pull her pants back up.
Wilson was restrained again and put back into a patrol car. On the way to the police station, according to McNabb, Wilson yelled and screamed, asking to see her husband while kicking at the windows behind the officer’s driver’s seat.
She then proceeded to remove her shoes and pants so that she was naked from the waist down. “She stated that she was going to urinate on my seats before launching into a shouting tirade,” said Deputy Randolph Grob.
Then Wilson, already on her way to jail on suspicion of DUI in Florida, began to slam the plexiglass divider with her handcuffs. She had taken them off again and put them on her fist as though they were a pair of brass knuckles.
The officer stopped the car because he thought Wilson would break through the glass, and when he opened the door to the back seat, she punched him in the nose again. He didn’t remove her from the car because he thought he might hurt her, so instead he was able to force the door closed and radio ahead to the police station to have a female officer ready for her arrival.
Once at the jail, officers had to forcibly remove her from the car amidst her continued punching.
Montana has a history of a DUI culture that is not as critical of drunk driving offenses as other parts of the country. Recently, the state’s efforts to curb drunk driving have led to more stringent policy.
Now, the state’s Attorney General, Steve Bullock, has proposed the expansion of a pilot program that calls for repeat drunk driving offenders to submit to regular breath tests during their sentence. The program is known as the 24/7 Sobriety Project.
The 24/7 Sobriety Project essentially requires that repeat DUI offenders stay sober all day and all night long, for the duration of their sentence. Whoever fails a breath test would be jailed and have their bond revoked. The idea originated in South Dakota.
Under the program, anyone who is arrested for DUI more than once must take a breath test that measures blood alcohol content twice a day, according to the Great Falls Tribune.
Expanded DUI prevention efforts would also include harsher penalties for those convicted of driving with a blood alcohol content that is higher than .15. Such measures are already in place in most states in the U.S. Such a charge, as proposed, would be an aggravated DUI charge.
In addition to the strengthened DUI laws above, Attorney General Bullock would like to make penalties for refusing a breath test more harsh than they currently are.
The proposals will need approval from the state legislature, which is controlled by the Republican party at the moment. Republican Representative Steve Lavin already plans to sponsor the bill.
Lavin is a sergeant in the state’s highway patrol. He argued that the bill wouldn’t cost anything because those who are required to take the tests would pay for the process themselves. “I just don’t see any opposition to it,” he told the Tribune. “I’ve talked to quite a few of my comrades, and they seem to like it.”
Attorney General Bullock hopes for the necessary political support. “I’m hopeful that all three of them end up with broad bi-partisan support,” he said of the three parts of his proposal for expanded DUI penalties and requirements. “This problem is not a Democrat or a Republican issue. I think these three (proposals) are great parts of what can be done.”
Several celebrity songbirds appeared in the headlines recently for issues related to DUI arrests and DUI charges.
One is a Grammy winning songwriter, producer and actress best known for her soul-pop music, and the other is a one-time teen heartthrob slated to appear in a film about Liberace.
Singer and Grammy-winner Faith Evans pleaded no contest to DUI charges in a Los Angeles courtroom recently, following a DUI arrest back in August. The Grammy Award-winner was stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Marina del Rey on August 21 at around 10:40 p.m.
Evans was subsequently arrested for suspicion of misdemeanor drunk driving. As a part of the no contest plea, Evans will serve three years of probation, pay $300 in fines, agree not to drive with any alcohol in her system and undergo a 3-month alcohol treatment program, according to the Baltimore Sun.
She pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor count of reckless driving.
Evans, well-known after she arrived on the pop music scene in the mid-90s, tweeted to her fans following the DUI arrest, telling them that “After completing a full day of wardrobe prep I was stopped at a random checkpoint. I’m fine and well, and thank you for your prayers, kind words and concerns.” She signed the tweet “- Fizzy.”
Evans and her husband were arrested for drug possession charges in 2004, for which she entered a drug abuse treatment program.
Teen idol David Cassidy also faced DUI trouble recently, when he was arrested for drunk driving in Florida, according to the LA Times.
Cassidy has a court date in mid January for charges that he failed a field sobriety test at around 6 in the evening. Police reportedly witnessed Cassidy weaving on the road and making an erratic lane change.
A Breathalyzer test came back having registered a .141 and a .139 blood alcohol content for the singer and actor.
Cassidy pleaded not-guilty to the charge. He admitted that he was tired, and that he had a glass of wine with lunch and took a hydrocodine pill for back pain.
According to police, there was a bottle of bourbon in the back seat that was half empty.
Cassidy faces a misdemeanor charge of DUI, failure to maintain a single lane and driving with an open container.
Mike Williams, a rookie wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Florida, early in the morning before he was to show up at practice the next day.
The arrest garnered headlines because Williams has become one of the best players on the Tampa Bay team after being drafted only last year. He has started every game this NFL season.
According to police, the vehicle that Williams was driving, a Cadillac Escalade, was swerving in and out of traffic and exceeding the speed limit when they pulled it over at around 2:30 A.M. The sheriff’s report said that Williams had a glassy look in his eyes, and police smelled alcohol in the car.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, he failed a field sobriety test.
Williams took a breathalyzer test, the results of which showed that he had a .065 blood-alcohol content. This number is below the Florida legal driving limit of .08 percent. Williams was still arrested, however, and taken in, then release on $500 bond.
According to Florida police, they can make a DUI arrest even if the breath test shows a blood-alcohol content below the legal limit if there is evidence that a driver was impaired. Such evidence can include the way the person was driving.
According to officials, Williams also submitted to a urine test. The results of that test are expected within a month to six weeks.
In a peculiar turn, the Buccaneers team also had Williams submit a urine sample to them, to allow them to test for several substances, some of which are banned in the NFL, according to the St. Petersburg Times. They did this, apparently, in order to more quickly obtain results of the tests. Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris was happy with the results of this private test, and told the press that he was satisfied that Williams was “clean.”
He also added that the team will be fining Williams “a lot of money” following the late-night incident. The coaching staff had already expressed their disappointment to Williams himself.
“He was very remorseful, which is a good sign,” said offensive coordinator Greg Olson. “He wasn’t full of excuses, and that’s a good sign. I think it’s obviously unfortunate that it happened. We’re certainly disappointed that he would be out that late knowing that we had a big game and practice.”