Aug

30

President Obama’s Uncle Arrested for DUI

By Topher

A presidential relative was arrested last week in Framingham, Mass., on charges of drunk driving and now faces deportation.

When Onyango Obama, the half-brother of President Obama’s father, was given the chance to make a phone call following the arrest, he was sure to make his family ties known.

“I think I’d like to call the White House,” said Obama, according to the police report.

If expecting his nephew, Obama failed to remember that President Barack Obama is currently vacationing with his family on Martha’s Vineyard.

The law firm representing Onyango Obama told the Boston Globe that he is now in the custody of immigration officials and facing a possible deportation to Kenya.

The White House would not comment on the incident this week and, instead, directed all requests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to the ICE press office, the agency does not report on individual cases.

Onyango Obama, 67, was stopped by police around 7 p.m. on Wednesday outside the Chicken Bone Saloon after he made a sharp turn and caused a police cruiser and another driver to slam on their brakes.

Officer Val J. Krishtal noted in his report that Obama appeared to be slurring his speech when the officer approached the vehicle.

“The male would not allow me to speak and continued to interrupt me,” Krishtal recorded in his arrest report. “I explained to him that I narrowly avoided striking his vehicle, and he told me that he did not hear my tires screeching, so I was not being accurate.”

After telling the officer he had not been drinking, Obama confessed to having one beer. He then revised his confession and claimed to have had two beers.

When a field sobriety test was performed, Obama allegedly kept starting the tests too early and spoke over the officer’s instructions.

“Every time I got a sentence out, Obama would say, ‘You are correct,’” Krishtal reported. “He also attempted to start the [one-legged stand] test approximately seven times without being told to do so.”

Obama was arrested on drunken driving charges after failing three sobriety tests. He later registered a blood alcohol level of 0.14 percent at the station. The legal limit in Massachusetts is 0.08.

Framingham police Lieutenant Ronald Brandolini told the Boston Globe the department did not look into the presidential connection despite Obama’s name and his request to contact the White House.

Obama was arraigned Thursday on charges of DUI, failure to yield at an intersection, and negligent operation. A spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney told the Boston Globe the judge released Obama on personal recognizance, but that he was held on an immigration detainer.

Aug

24

Weirdest Moving Violations & DUIs

By Topher

Ever been ‘under the influence’ of alcohol while driving something other than a car? Find out the funniest cases of DUIs that occurred on other forms of transportation–like horseback! From dolphin-back to bikes, horse-drawn buggies to golf carts, there are as many moving violation types for drinkers than you ever thought possible. Which do you think is weirdest?

Weirdest DUI and Moving Violations Infographic

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Strange DUI Violations

Reportedly…

An Amish man was arrested for driving while intoxicated in his horse-drawn buggy after drinking about 12 beers. He told police he was a “bad Amish”.

On a dare a man started up a steamroller, but drove it into a car. Police, realizing he was intoxicated, arrested him.

If you are intoxicated and let another intoxicated person drive your car, both you and the driver can be charged with a DUI in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

An intoxicated, off-duty FDNY firefighter stole a fire truck to respond to a fire. Police placed him under arrest in the fire truck.

A helicopter pilot was arrested by police after flying erratically. The pilot had to turn over his pilot’s license to be released from jail.

Thousands of Waxwing birds in Sweden became intoxicated by gorging on fermenting berries. About 50 lost their lives by flying into nearby windows.

To impress his girlfriend, a drunk Indiana man stole a two-engine plane and drove it down the taxiway. He was arrested after he missed the runway and drove it into a soybean field.

A Kansas Attorney General issued the legal opinion that drinking on an airliner was forbidden by state law while the plane was in airspace over “dry” Kansas. His opinion was widely ridiculed in legal circles.

In Kent, England, two drunken men were arrested for grabbing a dolphin swimming near the shore and trying to ride it home.

While in some countries the penalty for DUI can be death (yes, that death), in Uruguay intoxication is a legal excuse to having an accident while driving.

A New Jersey man was charged and convicted with DUI after joyriding intoxicated on a tiny pocket bike.

An Oregon man was arrested for DUI on an adult tricycle. Police stopped him after he rode down the wrong side of the road and rolled a stop sign.

A Michigan man was charged with DUI for driving his lawnmower home from the liquor store during a snowstorm with a BAC over 2.5 times the legal limit.

It is a crime for anyone other than a licensed dealer to bring any alcohol in any quantity into Utah.

An Australian man was arrested for riding his skateboard intoxicated. Police spotted him weaving through traffic at midnight while drinking rum.

A UK man was arrested for DUI for driving a pink Barbie car at over 2x the legal BAC.

A Florida man was arrested driving a go-kart at 4:00 am. Reportedly too drunk to stand up, he said he was on his way to McDonald’s.

While driving a Christmas parade float drunk, a man passed another float and sped off. After driving another – and its riders – for three miles, he stopped, fought with officers, and was arrested on over three dozen criminal charges.

A New York man was charged with DUI after police saw him swerving on the sidewalk on a motorized cooler.

A drunken joy rider stole a mobility scooter and ran people off the sidewalks – at a top speed of 6 mph. His BAC was 2x the legal limit.

In Spain, a drunk disabled man was stopped by police while driving his motorized bed down the road. He said he was on his way to see a local prostitute.

A German man in a wheelchair was arrested for DUI and registered over 10x the legal BAC limit.

Aug

24

Redding, Ca. Police Officer on Paid Leave Following DUI Arrest

By Topher

A police officer in Redding, Ca., is currently on paid leave after his arrest last week for suspicion of driving a city vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Matthew R. Zalesny was stopped by Redding police early Aug. 17 and subsequently arrested by California Highway Patrol Officer Kurt Heuer.

Police Chief Peter Hansen told the Record Searchlight that Zalesny was cited and arrested, and that the officer is now on paid administrative leave as a department investigation is carried out.

Zalesny’s law enforcement duties have also been suspended, Hansen told the newspaper.
The criminal investigation of the case has been handed over to the CHP in accordance with standard department procedure. The case is currently being prepared for the Shasta County District Attorney’s review.

Zalesny, 44, was born and raised in Redding and has worked for 23 years as a law enforcement officer.
After beginning his career with the Tehama County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy in 1988, he moved to the Anderson Police Department three years later. While there, he worked patrol and served as an officer in the department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.

Zalesny has been with the Redding Police Department since 1994, where he has worked as an identification technician, taught defensive strategies, served on the SWAT team and served as a field training officer.
In 2007, Redding police honored Zalesny and a group of other officers for their work on an anti-gang enforcement unit.

Zalesny’s DUI arrest marks the second among Redding police officers in the last five years. In 2006, Christopher Jacoby was arrested when CHP officers found his car plowed off a highway embankment.

Jacoby pleaded guilty to the charge, paid fines, and spent ten days in jail before eventually returning to work as a Redding Police Department investigator.

Redding Police declined to provide the newspaper with the conditions of Jacoby’s discipline for the DUI arrest.

Aug

17

Alcoholism Cause & Effect

By Topher

While there are many factors that drive one to become an alcoholic, they all converge at the brain’s reward system. With out proper care to stop alcoholism, one can greatly destroy their body. See what internal mechanisms make drinking enjoyable and the dangers of drinking for the human body.


Causes and Effects of Alcoholism

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Alcoholism Cause and Effect

Cause

While there are many factors that drive someone to become an alcoholic, they all converge at the brain’s reward system.

1. The main chemical involved in this system is the neurotransmitter Dopamine.

2. Dopamine is released when the driver has a positive experience. Through various processes, alcohol increases the effects of dopamine in the brain, and happy feelings are chemically amplified. The dopamine has the greatest effect on the Mesolimbic system.

A. The wave of dopamine begins in the Ventral Tegmental Area.

B. Next, the dopamine signals enter the Nucleus Accumbens where rewarding feelings are generated.

C. Once a rewarding feeling is generated the Amygdala is signaled to analyze the emotion.

D. Finally, after these steps are repeated many times, the Hippocampus stores a long term link between alcohol and happiness.

3. A neurological link between happiness and alcohol, combines with other gradual chemical changes in the brain, produce symptoms of addiction.

Effects

Nervous and Neurological

  • Prospective memory is impaired
  • Sleep cycle is disrupted
  • Brain shrinks in physical size
  • Brain lesions are common and more wide spread

Cardiovascular

  • Heart failure
  • Anemia
  • Cardiomyopathy

Liver

  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis

Gastrointestinal

  • Stomach inflammation
  • Persistent heartburn
  • Poor nutrient absorption
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach bleeding

Sexual Dysfunction

  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Impaired orgasm
  • Nerve damage

Provided by Total DUI.

Aug

12

School Board Refuses to Rehire Former Teacher Arrested for DUI

By Topher

A former middle school teacher was unable to convince the Murray County school board in Chatsworth, Ga. to renew her contract this week in light of a recent DUI charge.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Jennifer Zeigler addressed the school board in tears, telling them how much she loved the school and her students. She admitted that she had no excuse for her behavior, but insisted that she deserved a second chance.

Zeigler made these claims during a fair dismissal hearing that was held after school Superintendent Vickie Reed did not recommend that the former teacher’s contract be renewed.

The seven members of the board listened to nearly four hours of testimony before they deliberated over their verdict for close to another hour. When the board returned, they voted unanimously to uphold the superintendent’s decision.

In her own testimony, Reed claimed that Zeigler had lost the respect of students, parents and co-workers, in addition to violating the Georgia Code of Ethics.

Ziegler, on the other hand, argued that she had undergone treatment and should be rehired.

Sgt. Todd Pasley, the police officer responsible for Zeigler’s March 16th DUI arrest, also testified at the hearing.

Pasley claimed he clocked Zeigler driving 28 mph over the speed limit and that, before he could pull her over, she hit a truck stopped at a red light and nearly ran into another vehicle.

The police car camera that recorded the incident shows Zeigler stumbling around the parking lot as she insists she had not been drinking.

When blood samples were taken, Zeigler showed a blood alcohol content level of 0.31, nearly four times the 0.08 legal limit in Georgia. She pleaded no contest when charged with DUI in May, at which time she was sentenced to an alcohol treatment program and 12 months probation.

Zeigler apparently admitted in her testimony that she realized she was an alcoholic. She also stressed that she never gone to school or any school functions while under the influence.

The school’s attorney, Stanley Hawkins, accused Zeigler of not being truthful during her testimony and argued that her problems could not be fixed in one summer.

Zeigler has the option to appeal the board’s decision to the Georgia state school board. Her attorney told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that they have not decided if they will do so.

Aug

1

Illinois State Supreme Court DUI Ruling Raises Concerns

By Topher

A recent ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court has proven controversial in the months following the decision as prosecutors have begun using it as a new weapon in DUI cases. Charges in DUI cases may be upgraded without evidence of a driver’s impairment at the time of the accident.

In April, the court ruled that drivers in fatal driving accidents could be found guilty of a felony if trace amounts of an illegal drug are found in their bodies.

The new ruling means prosecutors no longer have to prove that drugs contributed to a crash, simply that they were present in a driver’s system. In the original case, a felony conviction was upheld against a pickup truck driver showing traces of methamphetamine after he crashed and killed two people.

Just one month later, prosecutors in DuPage County used the Supreme Court’s ruling to upgrade a misdemeanor charge to felony aggravated DUI involving drugs. That upgrade changed the defendant’s possible sentencing from 12 months of jail time to three to 14 years in prison.

At least four prosecutions in Cook, DuPage and Kane counties have already applied the Supreme Court’s opinion, each involving alleged use of illegal drugs.

The new precedent has safety advocates applauding the decision, while defense lawyers suggest it may misinterpret the intent behind Illinois’ drunken-driving laws.

“What they’re saying is just because you used drugs in the past, even though you could be safe on the road at the present time, we don’t want you on our highways, and that’s questionable,” a Wheaton, Ill., DUI attorney told the Chicago Tribune.

Others concerned claim the decision may put prescription drug users at risk as the law applies to both illicit drugs and controlled substances. Drivers may be unaware of how long a drug can be detected in their system.

Prior to the court’s ruling, it was necessary to show impairment in a fatal drug-related crash, which was often difficult without a set standard such as the .08 blood alcohol limit for drunk driving.

The ruling grew out of a crash on Christmas Day 2004 when Aaron Martin, 24, left a Peoria bar in his pickup and missed a curve, hitting a car head-on and killing a 50-year old woman and her elderly mother. Trace amounts of methamphetamine were found in the driver’s urine, but no alcohol.

Martin was convicted of aggravated DUI involving drugs by a Peoria County jury, and the judge sentenced him to six years in prison. The conviction was overturned in August 2009 by a state appeals court, after prosecutors failed to show a causal relationship between the drugs and the driving accident.

The appellate decision was then overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court when the justices ruled “no causal connection” was needed due to Illinois’ longstanding zero-tolerance stance on drugged driving. The court’s opinion suggests the real crime is bad driving, which is why proof of impairment is not necessary.