Aug

31

Young Colorado Driver Given 10 Years for Death of Denver Mother

By Mike

By

This week, a judge in Denver District Court gave a 10-year prison sentence to a drunk driver who killed a young mother while she was driving the wrong way down an interstate highway, according to a report from the Denver Post.

Sources say the drunk driver, 28-year-old Victoria Barry, had a blood alcohol level of 0.219 two hours after her head-on collision with 31-year-old Lilly Duncan, who was driving home from a family birthday party. The accident occurred on May 14, 2011.

The fact that Barry was driving the wrong way down Interstate 25 with a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit was enough to warrant to heavy sentence, but her collision with Duncan’s car sealed Barry’s lengthy prison sentence.

The accident orphaned Duncan’s 13-year-old daughter, who gave a tearful plea in court asking the judge to issue a harsh sentence against the woman who killed her mother.

While judging the merits of Duncan’s arguments for mercy, Judge Sheila Rappaport reportedly weighed Barry’s grossly irresponsible actions against her clean criminal record and previous humanitarian acts, according to sources.

Judge Rappaport revealed the difficulty of her decision when she noted that “[o]ne night, one decision, one act does not and should not define Ms. Barry.”

The judge, however, also observed that she had to “factor in the fact that one night, one decision and one act defined and obliterated all that Ms. Duncan could be or would achieve in her life.”

In her final decision, it seems the judge leveled a strong decision against Barry, but withheld some punishment. Sources say that the 10-year felony DUI sentence is two years under the maximum allowed for vehicular homicide caused by drunk driving.

Duncan’s family, though, was pleased with the sentence, as one surviving member of her family told reporters that “justice was served” during this week’s sentencing.

So Barry will head to prison for a decade, for one terrible decision, and the pleas of her family didn’t seem to make much of a difference when it came time for her sentencing.

Sources say that Barry’s family told the judge about her history of humanitarian relief efforts in the Dominican Republic, and asked that part of her sentenced be relaxed in exchange for her efforts in teaching others about the dangers of drunk driving.

Observers in the courtroom, however, told reporters that Barry never directly apologized to Duncan’s family, which may have played a minor role in the judge’s final decision.

Aug

29

Founder of Crocs Blames Pop Singer Taylor Swift for DUI Arrest

By Mike

By

The founder of Crocs shoes was arrested last week for drunk driving after he was allegedly discovered unconscious in his Porsche, but he had a bizarre excuse for his behavior, according to a report from Reuters.

Sources say that, when he was approached by Colorado police, George Boedecker said he hadn’t been driving the car. When officers asked who had been driving, Boedecker said his “girlfriend,” pop singer Taylor Swift, had been behind the wheel.

The responding officers, naturally, were not convinced, so they pressed Boedecker about the location of his girlfriend, who was nowhere to be seen when officers approached the car.

In response, Boedecker reportedly pointed to a nearby yard and claimed that Swift was hiding there. After a cursory search, police officers failed to find the 22-year-old singer, who, luckily, was thousands of miles away at the time.

Unfortunately for the entrepreneur and founder of the popular Crocs shoe line, Boedecker’s bizarre behavior did not stop after the claims about his imaginary relationship with Taylor Swift.

When the police tried to take the 51-year-old millionaire into custody, he told them he had “17 (expletive) homes” and when police asked him to perform a field sobriety test, he told them “I’m not doing your (expletive) maneuvers,” according to sources.

And Boedecker’s colorful language, as well as his failure to perform the field sobriety test, could lead to extra jail time or increased fines if he is convicted for a DUI.

In many states, DUI laws state that drivers implicitly consent to certain sobriety tests when they get behind the wheel of a car. In these states, if drivers fail to perform they test, they may be presumed drunk, and could face a heavier sentence.

Sources are not sure if Colorado consent laws cover field sobriety test, although the state does have a consent law with respect to breathalyzer tests, which measure drivers’ levels of intoxication in a non-invasive manner.

Of course, if Boedecker made any physical contact with the police officers, or attempted to flee the scene of the crime, he could’ve faced additional charges of resisting arrest.

So the lesson to be learned from Boedecker’s bizarre arrest is, first, do not drink and drive. It’s simply not worth the danger or the potential legal consequences.

And second, if you do happen to be pulled over on suspicion of driving drunk, be on your best behavior when dealing with the police. Giving the police trouble only dares them to add extra charges to the DUI.

Aug

27

Gainesville Mother Arrested for Drunk Driving With 8 Kids in Car

By Mike

By

A woman from Gainesville, Florida, was reportedly driving to a bar with eight children in tow when she was arrested for driving under the influence, according to a shocking report this week from the Gainesville Sun.

Sources say that Lawanda Lowery-Gale, a 32-year-old mother of six children, was charged with one DUI count, eight counts of child neglect, and one count of driving with a suspended license.

Late last Friday night, members of the Gainesville Police Department arrived at the scene of an accident where a van side-swiped a smaller car on a street near the University of Florida.

The van was being driven by Lowery-Gale, who had eight children ranging in age from 10 months to 14 years in her van. Six of the children were her own, while two others were her nieces.

Before the accident, sources say the woman was trying to get to a nightclub called Fubar, although there is no indication that she had a plan for the children when she arrived at the club.

The accident occurred around 10:00 p.m., and when officers arrived at the scene of what sources call a “minor traffic crash,” they discovered a woman who appeared to be drunk, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, and reportedly smelled like alcohol, sources say.

To make her own legal matters worse, Lowery-Gale apparently “performed poorly” on her sobriety test, and the responding officers administered a breath test to determine the level of her intoxication.

To no one’s surprise, Lowery-Gale blew a 0.166 on her blood alcohol test, which is more than twice the legal limit in Florida of 0.08.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident, which reportedly caused vehicle damage worth more than $1,000.

And the woman could receive a tougher sentence than she would otherwise have seen because her license has already been suspended five times and she was cited less than two years ago for failing to take an alcohol test at a traffic stop.

In addition, states across the country have started to pass laws aimed at punishing drivers who put children at risk by driving with them while intoxicated. Under many of these laws, drivers receive automatic extra jail time if children are present in the car when they are arrested.

Many of these measures have been passed in response to the alarming trend of parents driving drunk with their children in tow, a practice which Lowery-Gale seemed to push to the extreme last week.

Aug

24

Which is Worse for You: Alcohol or Marijuana?

By Mary Ann

Regardless of whether you’re driving after drinking alcohol, or driving after smoking marijuana, getting caught by the police may be a felony or a misdemeanor charge. But how does each one affect your body and your ability to drive?


Is alcohol or marijuana worse for you?

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The Battle Between Alcohol and Marijuana

Some may believe widespread drug use is non-existent and alcoholism affects very few people in the United States. Unfortunately, this is not the case and many are affected by the use of these addictive substances. In this infographic, you’ll learn who is using these drugs and how common it is in America.

Marijuana

Areas of the Brain Receptive to Marijuana

THC, the main chemical compound found in marijuana, affects these three cannabinoid receptor sites in the brain when the drug is consumed.

Cerebullum

  • Coordination

Hippocampus

  • Recollection of Recent Events

Basal Ganglia

  • Unconscious Muscle Movement

Marijuana Use

  • In 2010, 17.4 million people were using marijuana every month.
    • In 2007, the number of marijuana users was 14.4 million.
  • 4.5 million people were reported as abusing or having dependency issues with marijuana.
  • 61.8% of illicit drug users in 2010 said their first drug was marijuana.

Marijuana use in 2010

  • 1 in 6 kids will abuse or become addicted to marijuana compared to 1 in 25 adults.
  • Average age of first use: 18.4 years old.
  • Average age of first use: 18.4 years old.
  • Used marijuana 20 or more days a month: 39.9%
  • Used marijuana 300 days in a row: 15.7%

Some Effects of Marijuana

  • Causes short-term memory loss.
  • Sleep issues.
  • Episodes of psychosis.
  • Faster heart rate.
  • Impairment of cognitive functions.
  • Detrimental effects to balance and coordination.
  • Results in problems with memory and learning.
  • Can cause addiction.
  • Increased risk for chronic lung issues.
  • Possible increase in the risk for anxiety and depression.

Alcohol

Alcohol Use

  • 15 liters of pure alcohol are consumed per 1,000 Americans.
  • Only 17.7% of people in the U.S. will not drink alcohol in their lifetime.
  • Percent of male population dying from alcohol-related disease annually: 5.48%
  • Percent of female population dying from alcohol-related disease annually: 1.92%

Most consumed alcoholic beverages in the U.S.

Beer Spirits Wine
53% 31% 16%

Areas of the Brain Vulnerable to Alcohol

Cerebellum

  • Coordinating Movement

Frontal Lobe

  • Learning and Memory

Cerebral Cortex

  • Thought Processing and Consciousness

Hypothalamus and Pituitary

  • Monitors Automatic Brain Function and Hormone Release

Most common causes of death attributed to alcohol in the world, by disease:

  • Cirrhosis of the Liver
  • Epilepsy
  • Oesophagus Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Mouth and Oropharynx Cancers
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colon and Rectum Cancers
  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Ischaemic Heart Disease

Conclusion
While alcohol may contain a good number of diseases with its extended consumption, marijuana has its own number of detrimental effects. Not everything is known about the long-term effects of consistent substance abuse though research is constantly arising to present new insight.

 

Provided by Total DUI.

Aug

22

Entertainer Randy Travis Arrested for DUI After Driving Naked

By Mike

By

Country singer Randy Travis was arrested for drunk driving last week in Grayson County, Texas, and his mug shot has already become an Internet sensation, according to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Travis was allegedly half-naked and belligerent when he was arrested by local police officers, according to several different sources.

Sources indicate that the 53-year-old was shirtless, and may not have been wearing pants, when Grayson County sheriffs discovered him taking a nap on the side of the road.

Before his discovery, Travis allegedly steered his 1998 Pontiac Trans Am into barricades that were placed in a construction zone on a road in the north Texas county.

Police were notified of the singer’s presence on the side of the road when an anonymous tipster called 911 and informed them of the presence of a “guy” lying on the road. When the operator asked the tipster if he was alright, the man responded, “I’m spooked out,” sources say.

By the time Travis reached the police station, sources say that he was completely naked and that he had suffered a black eye.

When asked how Travis reached this state of undress, or how he sustained the eye injury, Sgt. Ricky Wheeler of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Department told sources that was “just the way he was brought into our jail.”

Wheeler, however, did admit that when police tried to take Travis into custody, he “threatened to kill two of the troopers,” although sources do not say whether this verbal threat was accompanied by physical violence.

Thanks to his reckless actions after his bizarre DUI arrest, Travis will be facing more legal trouble than he would have encountered had he simply accepted the arrest.

Sources say that local prosecutors have charged Travis with a felony count of retaliation, a felony count of obstruction, and misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.

If a judge finds Travis guilty on all three of the charges, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Shortly after his arrest, the singer apparently found some clothes and was released on a $21,500 bail. Despite posting bail, however, Travis must check in with the court periodically to ensure that he will show up for trial.

In an effort to explain the country singers bizarre actions, sources suggest that Travis has been on a downward spiral since he divorced his wife, Elizabeth, with whom he’d lived for almost 20 years.

Aug

20

Florida Man Arrested for Drunk Driving While Mowing his Lawn

By Mike

By

A Florida man coming home from a long day of mowing lawns was arrested for a DUI under the most unusual circumstances, according to a report from Reuters this week.

Sources say that James David Gray was driving down a residential road on his lawn mower when he was pulled over by police who were concerned about the man in the lawn mower who was veering left and right on a busy road.

The police grew particularly concerned when they saw an apparently inebriated man driving north on a southbound lane, which is a bad idea in any vehicle, much less a lawn mower.

According to Gray, after he finished a long day of work, he headed to convenience store, where he purchased his first beer in two years.

Unfortunately, Gray actually purchased 18 beers, and consumed a significant number of these before heading off on his small tractor.

The police officer who pulled Gray over discovered an open can of beer in the cup holder of the lawn mower and also claims that Gray was slurring his speech. In addition, the police report claims that Gray smelled like alcohol and that his eyes were bloodshot.

When police officers administered a breath test, Gray blew a 0.138 and a 0.147, both of which are well above the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08.

To make matters worse, sources say that Gray doesn’t own the lawn mower that he was driving down the wrong side of the road. Apparently he just rented the vehicle and has only made the first month’s payment.

Gray may have been surprised that he could be pulled over for drunk driving in a lawn mower, but these sorts of strange arrests are more common than one might think.

In most states, driving any motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol is illegal. And motor vehicles may include golf carts, lawn mowers, or even bikes, depending on much how harm the biker could have caused nearby pedestrians.

In addition, drivers do not have to be actually moving to be eligible for a DUI. If an inebriated person is behind the wheel of a car, but is sleeping, he or she may still be arrested for a DUI, as long as there is a chance the car could be operated.

So lawn mowers across the country have fair warning: Drinking and driving is a terrible idea under any circumstances, even if you are only driving a lawn mower down a quiet residential road.

Aug

17

Mississippi Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Fatal DUI Accident

By Mike

By

A resident of Starkville, Mississippi, was sentenced this week to 25 years in prison for his actions in a May 2011 accident that killed an 11-year-old boy, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch.

The man, 43-year-old Curtis Chandler, was convicted on numerous charges, including two counts of aggravated DUI, and will also have to pay a $1,000 fine, sources say.

The fatal accident occurred on May 21, 2011, in the mid-afternoon, when Chandler’s 1995 Toyota 4-Runner reportedly flipped several times on a rural road.

Unfortunately for Chandler, who was drunk at the time of the accident, an 11-year-old boy who was in the car was ejected from the vehicle and later died at a nearby hospital.

The boy was somewhat luckier than a 12-year-old girl who was also ejected from the car during the accident but survived.

And both of those children had worse fates than a 39-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl who suffered injuries during the accident, but were not thrown from the car.

Apparently, Chandler’s irresponsible actions did not stop with his decision to drive drunk. Sources say that, despite the presence of four seriously injured passengers, Chandler somehow left the scene of the accident.

While his driving actions, and the death of a child, certainly cemented a long sentence at his DUI trial, Chandler’s decision to flee the scene of the accident only hurt him in court, and may have led to a much longer sentence.

When DUI accidents involve fatalities, lengthy sentences are very common, but it takes quite a lot for a driver to spend 25 years behind bars for drunk driving. Chandler, it seems, met this high threshold.

This week, in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court, Chandler pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated DUI. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to drop three lesser charges. This is fairly common in DUI cases, as the majority of defendants reach a plea agreement before heading to trial.

That is not to say that DUI charges cannot be fought. On the contrary, DUI attorneys are often able to successfully defend suspected drunk drivers for a number of different reasons, including sloppy police work or inaccurate DUI tests.

But in an accident as severe as the one caused by Chandler, the best hope is usually to reach a plea agreement in order to shorten the length of the sentence. Thus, Chandler’s fate may have been even worse had he chosen to go to trial.

Aug

15

Nation’s Capital Adds New DUI Laws and Harsher DUI Penalties

By Mike

By

Starting last week, Washington, D.C., rolled out a series of new DUI laws that are intended to reduce the alarming rates of drunk driving in Virginia and Maryland, according to a report from CBS News.

The District’s efforts to crack down on drunk driving mirror initiatives in many other states, as state legislatures have started to increase their focus on DUI prevention.

The first change to the capital’s DUI regulations is a shift in the legal blood alcohol limit for commercial drivers from .08 to .04 percent. This regulation, which also applies to taxi drivers, is very unique by national standards.

Representatives from the commercial driving industry have criticized the decision, claiming that if a blood alcohol limit of .04 is dangerous for commercial drivers, it should be dangerous for others drivers, as well.

Commercial drivers, however, typically have large loads of cargo, or are transferring passengers, so their legal responsibilities are much higher than average drivers, and the law should be adjusted to reflect this difference.

In addition to the reduction in the legal blood alcohol limit for some drivers, Washington, D.C., also strengthened its potential punishments for first time DUI offenders.

Sources say that people who are convicted for their first DUI offense are now eligible for a $1,000 fine and a 180-day stint in jail. Before the change, first time offenders were only eligible for a maximum $300 fine and 90-day jail sentence.

Of course, every drunk driver won’t receive this severe a punishment, but having such a large possible penalty could dissuade people who have had too much to drink from getting into their cars.

And, in addition to the possible deterrent effect, prosecutors will also be able to use the stiffer penalties as an incentive to get drunk drivers to plead guilty to lesser charges.

Another interesting change to the District’s DUI laws involves a shift in DUI procedure. This week, officers will once again be allowed to use breathalyzers during traffic stops.

D.C. police had been banned from using the tools for two years after an investigation discovered faulty calibrations in some of the DUI testing devices.

A final change to the capital’s DUI laws was a regulation that will add a mandatory week-long jail sentence for any person who is convicted of a DUI with a child in the vehicle.

Similar rules are becoming more popular in other states, as car safety advocates have highlighted the shockingly high number of children involved in DUI arrests.

Aug

13

Utah Man Caught Driving Drunk Three Separate Times in Two Days

By Mike

By

A Utah resident was recently arrested for drunk driving three times over a 45-hour span, according to an alarming report from the Salt Lake Tribune.

Sources indicate that 41-year-old Daniel Kropf was released from jail this week after posting a $30,000 bail, but he is facing a third-degree felony DUI charge for his actions over a two-day period in early July.

Apparently, the defendant’s first two DUI arrests counted as misdemeanors, but his arrest for a third DUI made him eligible for potential felony charges.

The legal tussle is a direct result of the man’s actions that started on July 8, when Kropf was driving a truck that was pulling a flatbed trailer when he struck a dumpster outside a gas station in Cache County, Utah.

The impact of the collision sent the dumpster spinning into an unlucky employee who was taking out the trash. The employee was sent to the hospital after suffering serious injuries in the crash, and has reportedly filed a personal injury lawsuit against Kropf.

After being arrested for drunk driving, Kropy posted bail and was released. Shortly thereafter, however, Kropf was again arrested for drunk driving. After his second release, Kropf was arrested for a DUI for the third time in a 45-hour period, according to sources.

And while the picture may look bleak for Kropf, his DUI attorney plans to fight the charges tooth and nail, and believes that his client may be facing unfair charges.

According to his attorney, state prosecutors should not be able to charge Kropf with a felony because they have yet to prove his two prior misdemeanor charges.

In response, prosecutors say they are confident that Kropf will be found guilty on the two misdemeanor charges, and have asked the court to include the two lesser charges in the trial for the felony offense.

Kropf’s attorney, however, claims that “the fact that someone arrests for something isn’t a conviction,” and that his client should not be treated as if the first two charges have already been established as fact.

Somehow, the attorney successfully argued that Kropf was not a danger to society, and was not a flight risk, so his client was able to post bail.

Kropf, however, must wear a monitoring device on his ankle that allows court officials to track his movements before his trial.

Sources say that Kropy has no prior criminal history, so his past good behavior may have played a role in the judge’s decision to grant him limited freedom before he faces trial.

Aug

10

Drunk Driver Given Two Years for Driving into Golf Course Sand Trap

By Mike

By

A 46-year-old woman who claims her GPS directed her into a golf course sand trap was sentenced to two years in prison this week after she pleaded guilty to her fourth DUI conviction, according to a report from the Worcester Telegram.

The woman, Patricia Maione, a resident of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, will spend the next two years in a state prison after a judge found her guilty of drunk driving, negligent driving, driving with a suspended license, and possessing an open container of alcohol in her car.

The incident occurred last month when Maione’s green Buick somehow steered into a sand trap at a local golf course after she allegedly followed her car’s GPS directions onto the course.

According to the police report, the car had dropped 10 feet from the top of the bunker and had extensive front end damage. The rear wheels were apparently hovering off the ground.

When police arrived at the scene, Maione was still in the driver’s seat of the car, although sources say she was not injured in the accident.

To no one’s surprise, Maione failed a field sobriety test at the scene and the police report indicates that she told officers she had consumed a half-liter of vodka earlier that morning.

In addition to the alcohol she admitted drinking earlier that day, police also discovered a large Burger King cup containing an unidentified alcoholic drink in her car.

When police asked her how she had ended up on the golf course, Maione told them that her GPS had “told her to turn left.” When this turn led her into a cornfield, Maione said she kept driving in order to “get out of the cornfield.”

In a darkly funny twist that reveals even the police have a sense of humor, the police report also indicates that Maione told officers she “did not even like golf.”

Before her detour into the golf course, local police had already been alerted to Maione’s erratic driving by concerned golfers who saw her Buick speeding down a fairway at 45 mph.

Maione was reportedly driving away from a former boyfriend’s home, which she allegedly broke into in order to take what she believed were her belongings.

So it seems that this driver made a series of very poor decisions, which ultimately led to her lengthy tenure in prison.
Fortunately, though, no one was injured in the accident, despite the presence of several golfers on the course at the time of Maione’s ill-fated journey.

Aug

8

Drunk Driver in San Francisco Crashes into Crowded Cable Car

By Mike

By

A 62-year-old man was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after he allegedly drove straight into a San Francisco cable car, according to a report from the San Jose Mercury News.

The man, whose name has not yet been released by police, was reportedly driving a blue SUV when he drove into the front of a San Francisco Municipal Railway cable car at an intersection around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

The cable cars are an iconic feature of San Francisco streets, but they share the road with passenger vehicles, and can pose hazards for some drivers, particularly those who are drunk.

Despite the presence of the cable cars on the streets, though, drivers in the city are accustomed to the trolleys, and accidents involving vehicles and cable cars are relatively rare.

Unfortunately, the recent accident reminded local residents that the cable cars aren’t completely safe, especially when drivers are operating their cars in an irresponsible fashion.

In the resident incident, sources say that there were about 15 passengers on the cable car, but the only person who was seriously injured was the operator of the cable car, who was in the front of the trolley when it was struck head-on.

Sources indicate that the 43-year-old operator experienced an injury to his shoulder, and he was taken to a local hospital for treatment after the accident.

Interestingly, the driver may be facing more than just a DUI arrest. Sources say that bystanders had to detain the man until police officers arrived on the scene.

If he attempted to resist arrest or tried to flee the scene, the driver could face a significantly higher penalty for his actions, although it should be noted that sources have yet to describe exactly how the driver behaved after the accident.

While he awaits his trial, the man should consider himself lucky that only one person was hurt, and not very seriously, according to sources.

In a DUI case without a fatality or serious injuries, drivers could leave court with a heavy fine, but they may not have to spend much time in jail, especially if it is their first DUI offense.

On the other hand, in DUI cases involving a fatality, prosecutors often charge drivers with serious felony charges like vehicular homicide, which often carry prison sentences that can last longer than a decade, depending on the state’s DUI laws.

Aug

6

Drunk Drivers in Tennessee Now Face Worse Penalty if Kids are in Tow

By Mike

Drunk drivers in Tennessee will now face a harsher penalty if they are arrested for a DUI with children in tow, thanks to a new DUI law that will become effective in a few weeks.

Under the new rule, DUI offenders who have children under the age of 18 in their car will be subject to a minimum 30-day sentence on top of their other charges, according to a report from The Expositor, a newspaper in Sparta, Tennessee.

The additional 30-day sentence will be automatically added to other drunk driving charges, such as a DUI, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault.

The new law adds a substantial penalty to a crime that is already punished very seriously under Tennessee state law. And while DUI laws vary by state, Tennessee’s treatment of DUIs is very similar to other states across the country.

In the Volunteer State, for example, first-time DUI offenders face a fine up to $1,500, a suspended license for a year, 24 hours of jail time, and up to a year of probation.

Of course, not every offender will face the maximum penalties, but judges are allowed to level punishments this severe against people who are convicted for a DUI for the first time.

And second-time drunk drivers are treated much more harshly. For a second DUI arrest, offenders could face a $3,500 fine, a jail sentence of up to a year, and a license revocation lasting two years.

In addition, if drivers are arrested for their second DUI in five years, they have to install an ignition interlock device in their cars for six months. This devise measures drivers’ blood alcohol levels, and if they are too drunk to drive, the ignition interlock will prevent the car from starting.

So, since the maximum penalties for DUI offenses in Tennessee carry relatively short jail sentences, the addition of an extra month-long sentence is a significant change to the state’s DUI laws.

The law represents the state’s second effort this year to strengthen its DUI prevention laws. In May, state legislators passed a law allowing officers to draw blood from suspected drunk drivers, even if they refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test.

This law was met with heavy opposition from civil rights groups, but state lawmakers eventually passed the new rule despite these objections.

And as statistics continue to show an alarming number of annual deaths due to drunk drivers, states will continue to level more aggressive penalties against drunk drivers.

Aug

3

Pennsylvania State Trooper Cited for Drunk Driving While on Duty

By Mike

By

A 19-year veteran of the Pennsylvania Highway Patrol was arrested for a driving under the influence of alcohol while he was on duty in Windsor Township, Pennsylvania, according to a report from TriCounty Record.

The arrested trooper, Kevin Wackley, was driving a marked police car around 8 p.m. on a weekday night when state police received a tip from another officer that Wackley may have been inebriated.

According to Sgt. Wagner, the commander of the station where Wackley worked, he received a call from a “local officer who came into contact” with Wackley.

When Wagner’s unit heard the report, they located Wackley, asked him to pull into a parking lot, and waited for the commander of the Hamburg barracks, the headquarters of Wackley’s unit, to arrive on the scene.

When that occurred, several officers determined that Wackley was indeed drunk, and the veteran police officer was escorted into custody.

The arrest poses some difficult public relations questions for the local police department, which obviously has plenty of information about the criminal suspect but can’t reveal it for privacy reasons.

The police have released some information related to the case that gives reporters a bit of a hint about what happened that night.

For example, Sgt. Wagner would not reveal the exact blood alcohol content of Wackley at the time the officer’s arrest, but he did say that it was over the legal limit, which means it was higher than 0.08 percent.

Of course, the police department’s unwillingness to discuss the matter became more frustrating when officials refused to discuss whether Wackley had ever been disciplined for similar rule violations while he was on the job.

In addition, sources were unable to learn whether he had previously been charged with a DUI, as Sgt. Wagner told reporters that he “can’t release or talk about any of his prior histories, if any.”

To be fair, the public will eventually learn about Wackley’s history, as well as the current case, assuming that charges are eventually brought against the officer.

In the meantime, the public will be left with rumors and innuendo, as it tries to determine why an officer of almost 20 years made such a poor decision.

It’s certainly not unprecedented for a police officer to be arrested for a DUI, but recent cases of drunk police officers have typically involved younger officers, not long-term veterans of a state police force.

Aug

2

Alcohol: A Poison to Your Body and Mind

By Topher

Before you start on that third beer, rethink what you consider safe alcohol consumption to be. You may be increasing the probability of getting arrested for DUI if you get behind the wheel.

In this infographic, you’ll learn about the effects on your body and mind when you drink more than a sensible amount.


Alcohol: A Poison to Your Body and Mind

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Alcohol: A Poison to Your Body and Mind

Before you start on that third beer, rethink what you consider safe alcohol consumption to be. In this infographic, you’ll learn about the effects on your body and mind when you drink more than a sensible amount.

A Drunken Mind

Detrimental Effects on the Brain

  • Accelerated brain shrinkage.
  • Muscle movement and coordination issues.
  • Blackouts, memory loss, and emotional outbursts.
  • Development of learning disabilities.
  • The growth of new brain cells is slowed.
  • Changes in temperature, heart rate, and breathing can lead to unconsciousness and possibly death.
  • Possible thiamine deficiency, which affects your cardiovascular and nervous systems.
  • Suppressed ability to become sexually aroused and perform sexual acts.
  • Improper sleeping patterns.
  • Numbness of body as a result of peripheral neuropathy.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

  • The Center for Disease Control estimates that .5 to 1.5 babies are born with FAS for every 1000 live births.
  • Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to:
    • Inhibited nerve cell growth.
    • Instead of proper nerve cell growth, the body could produce alternate cells.
    • Possible defects in the formation of axons—the carriers of brain signals between cells.
    • Interference with genes that tell the infant’s body to make protein and when to stop.

Brain Damage During Child Development

  • First Trimester
    • Detrimental damage to brain development and facial deformities.
  • Second Trimester
    • Reduction in the number of brain cells.
  • Third Trimester
    • Brain cells are killed outright and essential pre-birth brain development is nonexistent.

The Facts

  • 7% of all people with FAS do not have a corpus callosum—the connection between the right and left sides of the brain.
    • This brain defect is 20 times more common in people with FAS than the general population.
  • An estimated 4 out of 100 children of heavy drinkers will have full FAS, though birth defects may still be present.
    • Mothers who drink 7 to 14 alcoholic beverages a week will probably not see full fetal alcohol syndrome in their babies.
    • However, a fetus exposed to more than 7 drinks a week is 3 to 5 times more likely to experience birth defects.

A Toxic Body

It’s common knowledge that students will consume alcohol at some point in their college careers, but what percentage of students actually see injuries as a result of their drinking?

College Drinking Incidents

# of Drinks Imbibed % of Students Drinking % of Students Reporting an Alcohol Related Injury
1 13 2
2 21 7
3 18 12
4 15 16
5 12 16
6 8 15
7 4 9
8 3 7
9+ 5 14

Drinking and Driving

Age Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities
16 to 20 1,477
25 to 34 3,312
45 to 54 1,493
65 to 74 257
75+ 132

Short-term Alcohol Effects

  • Light Drinking
    • Relaxation
    • Sluggish Brain Activity
    • Short Attention Span
    • Slower Motor Skills
  • Moderate Drinking
    • Slurred Speech
    • Emotionally Unpredictable
    • Lower Body Temperature
    • Sleepiness
  • Heavy Drinking
    • Blackouts
    • Alcohol Poisoning
    • Possibility of Death
    • Impaired Breathing

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Body

  • Heart and Circulatory System
    • Veins constrict resulting in heat loss while the drinker experiences warmth.
    • Increased blood pressure and heartbeat speed.
    • Eventually can cause cardiomyopathy, heart disease, coronary heart disease, and cardiac arrest.
    • Increased chance of bruising and bleeding.
    • Possible blood clots and anemia
    • Damaged immune system.
  • Liver
    • Fat metabolizes differently.
    • Eventually scars the liver.
    • Higher chance of developing hepatitis.
  • Digestive System
    • Ulcers
    • Acid Reflux
    • Irritation of the pancreas.
    • Erosion of stomach lining.
    • Bleeding of the intestinal tract.
    • Possible stomach cancer.
    • Risk of esophageal, mouth, and larynx cancer.
    • Low blood sugar and possibly diabetes.
    • Could possibly develop malnutrition over time.
  • Lungs
    • Can cause pneumonia, lung collapse, and infections.
    • Fluid in the lungs.
  • Bones
    • Joint Inflammation
    • Muscle Atrophy
    • Can cause osteoporosis from calcium loss.
  • Skin
    • Drains vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy look.
  • Kidneys
    • Known to cause kidney failure, resulting in death.
  • Pancreas
    • Reduces pancreatic secretion that can eventually cause digestive enzyme leaks, which will cause the pancreas to eat itself.

How a Hangover Works

A hangover is your body’s way of saying you’ve poisoned it.

  • Symptoms:
    • Cottonmouth
    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Weakened Immune System
  • Men have more water in their bodies, allowing alcohol to be more diluted and therefore allowing more alcohol to be consumed.
  • Sugary drinks can reduce a hangover’s effects.
  • The saying “liquor before beer, you’re in the clear”, is not a valid assumption. It’s the amount of alcohol consumed, not the order in which you drink it.
  • Having a drink the next morning will only delay your hangover until your BAC returns to 0.

Conclusion

Alcohol has many detrimental effects on the body, most of which you can prevent just by avoiding drinking altogether. If you do choose to imbibe alcohol, you should forego drinking and driving, not only for your safety but also for the safety of others. Alcohol’s damage can be extensive to your body, wallet, and mind if you aren’t responsible and careful.

Provided by Total DUI.