By John Clark
An ambulance driver in Ohio with a previous DUI arrest on his record who was involved in a fatal accident a few weeks ago was allegedly driving without a license at the time of the crash, according to a Columbus Dispatch report.
Sources say that, before causing the recent accident, 31-year-old Todd Picken had failed to recover his license after being convicted for drunk driving in July 2011.
The fatal crash took place on September 18, when the ambulance struck an SUV head-on after the SUV reportedly crossed the center line on a rural highway. The woman behind the wheel of the car, 53-year-old Marcia Frederick, was killed instantly.
Sources are quick to note, however, that the accident was probably caused by Frederick’s medical condition. She was battling cancer at the time of the accident, although sources do not say how her disease caused her to drive erratically.
Still, even though he may not have caused the accident, Picken is facing a lot of heat from officials in Madison County, Ohio. Local prosecutors have charged the ambulance driver with failing to reinstate his license and driving without an operator’s permit.
Picken, according to sources, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is scheduled to make his first court appearance in mid-November.
County records show that Pickens was arrested in July 2011 for driving under the influence, and was later convicted on his DUI charge. After the conviction, Pickens had his license suspended for one year, according to sources.
Picken apparently failed to take the steps necessary to recover his license, and as a result, Jefferson Township, the entity for which he was working when the ambulance accident occurred, could be on the hook for a large financial loss.
According to one critic of the township, any city officials that believed “someone without a license should be driving a $200,000 (ambulance)” should be punished for their actions.
In addition, the critic notes that Picken’s DUI arrest was not the only red flag. Sources say that Picken has been charged twice with reckless driving, once with driving 90 miles per hour on a small highway, and once with tampering with a traffic-control device.
And because of Picken’s prior DUI conviction, as well as his failure to obtain a proper license, neither he nor Jefferson Township will likely be able to pay for the accident using insurance funds.
So the lesson here is that DUI convictions do not have to spell the end of someone’s driving career, but if you have your license suspended, you must take active measures to recover it after the suspension is lifted.
By John Clark
After originally arresting a man for causing a fatal DUI accident last week, police in Fresno, California, have switched their tune and arrested the man’s son, according to a report from the Fresno Bee.
Sources say that 50-year-old Mark Marin was originally suspected to be behind the wheel of a vehicle that ran a red light, made a speedy turn, and hit another vehicle that was driving in the opposite direction on a Fresno road.
The accident occurred early last Thursday morning, and after Marin’s vehicle hit the car, it careened into a cinder block wall, according to sources.
Tragically, the impact of the collision killed 27-year-old Morgan Santor, a resident of Fresno who was a passenger in Marin’s car at the time of the accident.
After the accident, the Marins made two very poor decisions. First, Mark Marin reportedly fled from the scene of the accident, which is a serious offense in most states, particularly if the accident involves death or bodily harm to another person.
But Marin, as is typical for people who flee from the scene of a DUI accident, did not elude police for long. Sources say the man was arrested by alert police officers at a nearby home shortly after the accident.
Meanwhile, Marin’s son, Randy, had remained at the scene of the accident, and apparently took full advantage of the opportunity to speak with the police first.
At the scene, Randy Marin allegedly told crash investigators that his father, who has had previous drunk driving incidents, was behind the wheel of the car when the fatal accident occurred.
The 26-year-old’s story was apparently fairly convincing, as police promptly arrested Mark Marin and left his son free to roam the streets of Fresno telling more tall tales.
One day after the arrest, however, police received new information from several witnesses who claimed that Randy Marin, not his father, was driving the car when it struck the cinder block wall.
This testimony proved to be convincing, which led police to arrest Randy Marin Friday night in Los Banos, California. Sources say the son is being held in Fresno County jail on one felony DUI count and one count of vehicular manslaughter.
Interestingly, the father, Mark Marin, will remain in custody indefinitely because he was in violation of a his probation, which certainly explains why he felt compelled to run from the police.
To add further intrigue to the bizarre accident, the other driver involved in the accident, a 24-year-old woman from Fresno, was also arrested for a misdemeanor DUI. She did not, however, pin the accident on an illusory driver.
By John Clark
A 25-year-old South Dakota woman was arrested for her fifth DUI this week in stunning fashion, as she reportedly led police on a high-speed chase that left one state trooper in critical condition, according to a report from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
Sources say that police officers began pursuing Rachel Lee Coleman late Wednesday night after her car sat through an entire green light and then sped across the center line at a busy intersection in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Officer Andrew Steen tried to pull her over, but she sped away into traffic. During the chase, police officers claim that Coleman drove in the direction of two officers who were trying to stop the chase.
When she intentionally steered towards them, the police reportedly fired three shots to try to stop her car, which finally ended the pursuit, according to sources.
But not before Steen, a 34-year-old highway patrol officer, was struck by Coleman’s car during the pursuit. The accident fractured Steen’s skull, and he remains in critical condition after having emergency surgery.
According to a report from the hospital where Steen is being treated, “the first 72 hours are the most critical for swelling of the brain, so we are hoping that his pressures will start to drop within the next 24 hours.”
For her role in causing the DUI accident, Coleman has been charged with attempted first-degree muder, vehicular battery, driving while intoxicated, aggravated assault on a law enforcement official, felony eluding, and causing a hit and run accident, sources say.
The laundry list of serious charges adds to Coleman’s already lengthy criminal history. Sources say the young driver has been charged with a DUI 5 times since 2009, and has also faced several more driving citations.
Witnesses who spoke to police after the shocking accident told them that Coleman had been drinking at a bar for a long period of time before launching the dangerous chase.
If the police report is true, Coleman could spend a large portion of her life behind bars. Sources say that Steen was walking towards Coleman with his gun raised, after Coleman had struck his car, when the young driver allegedly accelerated towards Steen and drove into him.
The impact of the collision sent Steen flying several feet, although the bullets he fired did not hit Coleman. According to a police affidavit, the car accelerated so fast “that it left acceleration marks on the pavement while striking trooper Andrew Steen.”
By John Clark
Most DUI arrests involve the use of traditional forms of alcohol—beer, liquor, or even homemade moonshine. But sometimes the sources of a DUI arrest are more creative.
Take, for example, the case of Jennifer Wilcox, who was arrested for drunk driving last week after allegedly drinking half a bottle of hand sanitizer, according to a befuddled report from the Hartford Courant.
Wilcox, 36, was arrested in Middletown, Connecticut, after allegedly spinning out of control and almost hitting another car that police had pulled over to the side of the road, according to a police report.
When they arrived at her car to help her, police reportedly smelled alcohol on the driver’s breath, and promptly ordered her to perform a field sobriety test, which she failed with flying colors.
Sources say Wilcox’s blood alcohol level was later measured at 0.176 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit. In addition to her DUI charge, Wilcox was also charged with reckless driving, and was later released on a $500 bond.
This would be the end of the story, were it not for the incredibly bizarre circumstances that led to Wilcox’s inebriation in the first place.
After police had arrested her, Wilcox repeatedly denied drinking alcohol that day. She did, however, admit to drinking half a bottle of hand sanitizer, according to a police report.
According to sources, the use of hand sanitizer for recreational purposes has apparently grown into something of a national trend.
Earlier this year, in fact, six teenagers in Los Angeles were treated for alcohol poisoning after drinking large amounts of hand sanitizer, according to a report from NBC Southern California.
Some states have actually asked retailers to stop selling hand sanitizer to people who appear intoxicated, as the combination of liquor and hand sanitizer could prove deadly, according to health officials.
Sources say that hand sanitizer is inexpensive and easily accessible, especially for people under the legal drinking age. In addition, instructions on how to distill alcohol from hand sanitizer are readily available on the Internet.
Of course, Wilcox is well above the legal age limit, so her motivations for drinking hand sanitizer are a bit more mysterious.
One might speculate that hand sanitizer was appealing because it may be cheaper than many forms of alcohol. Or perhaps she was just thirsting for adventure. But other drivers should be warned: Hand sanitizer is fine to keep in the car, but it should only be applied to the hands, as God intended.
By John Clark
A professional golfer has escaped a DUI arrest with a relatively light sentence consisting solely of community service, according to a recent report from NBC Sports.
Sources say that British golfer Rachel Connor was arrested back in March when the 21-year-old athlete was pulled over by police in the middle of the night for speeding.
Connor, who is a member of England’s national golf team and is a star on the LPGA Futures Tour, exhibited signs of inebriation, and reportedly failed a field sobriety test. Sources say she also registered a 0.133 percent during a breathalyzer test, which is well above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Adding intrigue to the arrest was the presence of former NFL running back, and current sports commentator, Eddie George in the passenger seat. George, a former player for Ohio State University and the Tennessee Titans, was not cited during Connor’s arrest.
Connor and George had played that afternoon in the Archie Griffin Celebrity Golf Classic in Florida, and after the arrest, George told reporters that Connor was simply giving him a ride home because she lived close to his home.
Naturally, reporters were skeptical about this explanation, and George, who has been married to singer Tamara Johnson since 2004, fielded thinly veiled criticism from several news outlets.
Perhaps more suspicious was Connor’s ability to escape the DUI charge without jail time, but this is actually a very common occurrence for first-time DUI offenders, and is likely not related to her status as a minor celebrity.
In addition, Connor did not escape without any punishment at all. Sources say the court will probably suspend her license for 6 months, and she will also likely have her car impounded for a few days.
In Florida, however, drivers can often recover their licenses earlier if they agree to pay additional fines. Moreover, Connor completely escaped jail time, and will only have to do a modest amount of community services, according to sources.
After receiving the news of her sentence, Connor posted a lengthy series of messages on her Twitter account, according to sources. In her words: “It’s hard to accept, but you can’t change the past. You can’t go back and manipulate things the way you wanted them to happen. Because life would be meaningless and boring and just not worth living.”
So, Connor will continue to live a life full of meaning and excitement, but before she gets carried away, she will have to do a bit of community service.
By John Clark
When politicians or other public figures are arrested for a DUI, news of their arrest is usually limited to a brief blurb in the morning paper. Rarely do politicians have to contend with video footage of their embarrassing behavior.
This, however, did not prove to be the case for Phil Bonus, the mayor of Maitland, Florida, who appears “unsteady” and is shown stumbling in video footage of his DUI arrest, according to a recent report from the Orlando Sentinel.
Sources say the video was released this week by the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office after at least one curious citizen filed a request to view the public record.
The incident occurred in December 2011 in Tampa, and shows a police officer trying to guide a “glassy-eyed” Bonus through a series of basic field sobriety tests after Bonus refused to take a blood alcohol test.
In the video, Bonus was very slow to react to most of the officer’s requests, and he almost fell on several occasions as he tried to walk in a straight line in the parking lot of an IKEA furniture store.
The embarrassing video footage is taken just minutes after Bonus drunkenly slammed his car into the side of a police cruiser. Sources say Bonus also came close to striking a police officer who was trying to direct traffic.
According to the police report, the mayor had a “distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, bloodshot glassy eyes, [was] unable to follow simple directions and [had] an unsteady appearance.”
For his actions, Bonus was eventually charged with two misdemeanor DUI counts. He will have a key court appearance on October 12, according to sources.
Remarkably, though, this may not be the biggest problem Bonus currently faces. Sources say that the mayor has been hearing loud calls for his resignation thanks to his alleged link to a prostitution ring.
According to sources, a recent investigation discovered the mayor’s name on the client list of a large prostitution network in Orange County, although sources are quick to note that Bonus has not been charged with a crime linked to this discovery.
Still, the pending investigation into the mayor’s involvement with prostitution, coupled with the video footage taken from his extreme DUI arrest, will undoubtedly heighten the pressure for Bonus to resign.
Politicians, however, often seem to recover from similar ordeals, so if Bonus is determined to remain in office, he might be able to salvage his career. Stranger things have happened in the political realm.
By John Clark
A promising young actress who starred in the recent remake of “The Bad News Bears” was killed in an accident that was allegedly caused by a drunk driver, according to a sobering report from the Los Angeles Times.
Sources say that 20-year-old Sammi Kane Kraft was riding in the passenger seat of an Audi when the car rear-ended a large truck around 1:30 a.m. last Friday night on the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles.
According to a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, the Audi was then struck from behind by a Toyota Scion, sandwiching the vehicle between the two cars, and killing the young actress.
The driver of the car, 21-year-old Molly Adams, is currently being treated for “serious” injuries at California Medical Center. And the driver of the truck is reportedly being treated for minor injuries.
Tragically, authorities believe that Adams was under the influence of alcohol when she was driving. As a result, she was booked on suspicion of a committing a felony DUI, sources say.
Authorities, of course, will allow Adams to recover before booking her in jail, which is a common practice in the aftermath of DUI accidents.
Kraft was only 13 years old when she was tabbed to play pitcher Amanda Whurlitzer in the remake of “The Bad News Bears,” which starred Billy Bob Thornton. The original film, starring Walter Matthau, was released in 1976.
Kraft’s role had been made famous three decades earlier by child star Tatum O’Neal, who won an Academy Award for her efforts in the film.
Remarkably, Kraft had never worked as a professional actor before her big break starring next to Billy Bob Thornton, and she only learned about the role through a friend.
Sources say that Kraft knew a lot about sports through her unique school experience, in which she played baseball and basketball and often found herself as the only girl on her teams.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2005, Kraft explained her unlikely rise to movie stardom, and also waxed poetic about her real life baseball skills.
According to the Times, Kraft told a reporter that she threw a “knuckleball, a knuckleball curve, a curveball, a changeup, a 70-mph fastball, a two-seam fastball and a four-seam fastball — the whole thing.”
Sadly, thanks to one very bad decision by her friend, film audiences will never be able to see if Kraft could spin her unlikely role into a lucrative film career.
By John Clark
Linda Hogan, the ex-wife of former wrestler Hulk Hogan, and a celebrity in her own right, was arrested in Malibu on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to a Fox News report.
Sources from the local police department revealed that the driver, whose real name is Linda Bollea, was arrested late Thursday night for drunk driving, spent a few hours behind bars, and was later released on a $5,000 bail.
In addition to the drunk driving charges, the 53-year-old reality television star was also reportedly booked for driving with a suspended license. Sources say that Bollea was pulled over for driving faster than the speed limit.
A person claiming to be a representative for Bollea recently told celebrity gossip outlet TMZ that her employer was driving home from a party in Los Angeles where she drank a single glass of empty champagne without having any food.
In addition, the representative claimed that Bollea has been taking antibiotics and that the drugs interacted negatively with the allegedly small amount of alcohol.
Bollea’s DUI arrest, however, was only the second most noteworthy event related to the extended Hogan clan this week, although her ex-husband might be grateful that it deflected a bit of attention from his current troubles.
Sources say that footage of Hulk Hogan having sex with an unidentified woman was released this week on the Internet.
Hogan is planning to take legal actions to remove the video from the offending website this week, but the damage may already have been done, as the video has now been publicly available for several days.
According to Hogan’s attorney, the website that posted the video had “no right” to do so, and if it refuses to delete the footage, Hogan has threatened to file a lawsuit.
The attorney also emphasized that the video was made without the wrestler’s “knowledge or permission,” and further warned that anyone “displaying the tape will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Remarkably, sources say that the sex tape has been circling for months, as the owner actively sought a buyer, but the video only reached public airwaves this week.
So while Linda Bollea will soon have to head to court to face DUI charges, her former husband may also be forced to head to court to prevent the distribution of the sex tape. It truly was a difficult week for the former celebrity couple.
By John Clark
An incredible scene occurred last week at a liquor store in suburban Sacramento where a driver, who was later arrested for a felony DUI, careened into the store and was caught on tape, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee.
Sources say that 34-year-old Robert King was “under the influence and actually over the legal limit for the state of California” when he crashed his car through the back wall of a liquor store in the town of Carmichael.
According to customer Joe Stoup, he was waiting in line to make a purchase when, all of a sudden, “the front of the store just exploded and moved about three feet forward.” The impact of the accident apparently “pinned the owner in,” according to Stoup.
The clerk at Kay Bee Liquors, Daljinder Singh, supported this account. In his words, “I had a customer who wanted a pack of cigarettes. I grabbed the cigs, I heard boom.” And surveillance video of the accident does show Singh getting trapped in the rubble as the wall behind him fell.
Remarkably, though, the driver did not stop after he took down the wall. According to Stoup, the driver was “revving his engine, and it seemed like he was going to come forward more,” which caused him and the other customers to fear for their lives.
The driver, however, did not drive forward. He ended up putting his truck into reverse and fleeing the scene of the accident, which raised his drunk driving charge from a possible misdemeanor into a definite felony.
Fortunately for local police, the incredible accident, which was so powerful it threw a heavy freezer two feet in the air, was captured by surveillance cameras that cover every angle of the store.
The video is a bit grainy, but sources say it captures the image of two people sitting inside a white truck. And a close-up still from the video clearly identifies the truck’s license plate, which led to the arrest of King just two hours after the incident.
Now, the owner of the store has to clean up the mess. Sources say that Singh suffered two broken legs during the crash, but he considers himself lucky that he’s “still breathing.”
Indeed, if the shelves over his head had completely collapsed on him, he could have suffered a potentially fatal neck or back injury. As it stands, Singh only has two broken legs, and the story of a lifetime.
By John Clark
The Supreme Court agreed this week to review the constitutionality of a DUI law that allows police officers to draw the blood of drunk driving suspects without a search warrant, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The law being challenged originated in Missouri, which followed the lead of several other states a few years ago by passing a law that allowed police officers to give blood tests to DUI suspects who refused to submit to a breathalyzer.
Sources indicate, however, that the Supreme Court will decide during its fall session whether police officers must obtain a search warrant before administering a non-voluntary blood test.
According to the state of Missouri, the U.S. Constitution does not require law enforcement officials to run to a judge to get approval to perform a blood test because time is of the essence with all DUI blood tests.
Under Missouri’s argument, if police had to seek judicial approval every time they gave a blood test, the blood alcohol level in a suspect’s system would have more than enough time to fall by a substantial margin.
Thus, in the interest of accuracy and efficiency, Missouri claims that its police officers must be able to gather the “best, most probative evidence” by administering blood tests as quickly as possible, so as not to destroy key evidence.
Several lower courts in other states have ruled on this question, but they remain split, which is why the Supreme Court has stepped in to resolve the matter.
Sources note that, in the United States, more than 1.4 million people are arrested each year for driving under the influence.
As a result, the Court’s decision will have a huge impact on the everyday lives of many Americans. Sources indicate, however, that 27 states have laws barring mandatory blood tests without a search warrant, so citizens of a slim majority of U.S. states will not be affected by the decision.
Still, the Supreme Court decision will be very important. The dispute before the Court stems from the 2010 arrest of a Missouri resident who was forced to take a blood test after an arrest despite his repeated objections.
According to the man who filed the lawsuit against Missouri, “not every case will involve a risk of losing evidence of intoxication before a search,” so the state’s primary argument falls short of proving that warrantless blood tests should always be allowed.
By John Clark
Most counties across the United States impose fines, jail sentences, or other punitive measures to penalize drunk drivers. But Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has a unique program that proponents believe is far more successful than traditional methods of DUI punishment.
The county recently implemented its DUI Alternative Jail Program, which is known by most state officials as “DUI Hotel,” according to a report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Under the terms of the unique DUI laws, DUI offenders spend three days and three nights at two participating hotels, where the convicted drunk drivers attend treatment sessions, undergo mandatory evaluations, and visit alcohol education programs.
Supporters of the law say it only applies to relatively minor offenders, which allows jails to free up space for criminals who commit more serious crimes.
According to Allegheny County officials, 550 people completed the program successfully in 2011, and 295 people completed the program in the first half of this year.
The program is only available to first-time offenders with 72-hour jail sentences who have limited or empty criminal records, proponents are quick to note.
Allegheny County is the only county in Pennsylvania to have such a program, but the projects’ modest success has prompted officials in Westmoreland County to consider passing similar legislation.
Of course, not everyone believes the program is a good idea. Critics of DUI Hotel say that it does not help prevent offenders from driving while intoxicated again.
In addition, the program is not available to everyone. Only those who can afford to pay to stay at the hotel for three nights are allowed to do the program. Offenders who cannot afford the hotel stay must go to jail instead.
According to George E. Saurman, a former state representative who loathes the law, allowing DUI offenders to “serve out their time in a hotel, rather than having the punishment imposed, is absolutely insane.”
Saurman also told sources that he couldn’t see “any motivation or justification for modifying the penalty” and claimed that sending DUI offenders to a three-day stay in a hotel is “inexcusable.”
Program participants, quite naturally, have a different view. Josh Lewis, a 22-year-old man who was about to start his hotel stay, told sources that the program can be “a little boring, but it beats jail.”
In addition, Ronald Seyko, the deputy director of the program, claims that the program allows drunk drivers to “meet their mandatory requirements and get their treatment education and reduce the burden on the system.”
By John Clark
A New Hampshire resident arrested on suspicion of drunk driving tried to steal a police officer’s gun during a traffic stop, according to an alarming report from the Nashua Telegraph.
According to sources, 21-year-old Jonathon Seninde, a resident of Nashua, New Hampshire, is facing a maximum sentence eight years in prison for his actions.
If, instead of trying to grab the officer’s weapon, Seninde had simply accepted his arrest quietly, he would only be facing a maximum of one year in jail, according to a local police officer.
Alas, Seninde acted irrationally, and for his actions, state prosecutors have charged him with disobeying a police officer, driving while intoxicated, and attempting to take a firearm from a law enforcement officer.
The charges for drunk driving and disobeying a police officer are only misdemeanors, but the charge for attempting to take an officer’s weapon is a felony, punishable by a much longer stint in state prison, sources say.
The incident occurred just past midnight last Friday, when a patrol officer tried to stop Seninde after the driver displayed signs that he was impaired.
Initially, Seninde refused to stop when officers signaled for him to pull over, but he eventually stopped near a busy intersection, according to the police report.
After Seninde stopped his car, police officers pulled him out of the vehicle, arrested him, and accused him of driving while intoxicated and disobeying a police officer. At this point, it was still a relatively routine DUI arrest.
Two hours later, however, the officers took Seninde to a nearby hospital for routine blood testing. But when Seninde was the hospital, he allegedly grabbed a police officers’ gun and tried to wrestle it out of the officer’s holster.
The officer, however, had help nearby, and several uniformed officers tackled Seninde before he was able to gain control of the handgun.
Now, because of his antics at the hospital, Seninde could be punished for his rash action with seven additional years in prison, plus a hefty fine, according to sources.
A local judge, however, deemed Seninde to be less of a threat than the police might believe. Sources say Seninde was released this week on a $5,000 cash bond and told to report for his arraignment in a local district court on October 29.
Seninde surely learned a lesson from his latest encounter with the police, but the district court’s police officers might be wise to fasten their holsters before his initial court appearance.
By John Clark
A Kentucky woman believes that a judge decided to throw her in jail for two days after a DUI arrest because she mocked her charges on Facebook, according to a report this week from ABC News.
Sources say that Paula Asher was arrested this July after crashing a car with four teenagers in tow. To make matters worse, Asher allegedly fled the scene of the accident. For her actions, Asher faces three separate charges, including leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence of alcohol, and possessing a controlled substance, according to sources.
Astonishingly, after the accident, Asher promptly went to her Facebook page and wrote, “[m]y dumb bass got a DUI and I hit a car… LOL.” The abbreviation “LOL,” of course, stands for “laughing out loud.” While Asher might have preferred for this comment to stay out of the sight of the parents of the teenagers who were in her car at the time of the accident, she wasn’t quite so lucky.
Sources indicate that the parents of the teenagers who were in her car were very upset to see her dismiss the accident as an event worth a laugh, and they reportedly told the court about the post after it was written. So when Asher made her first court appearance after the DUI accident, the judge ordered her to delete her Facebook account.
Remarkably, Asher refused to follow the judge’s orders, and was later charged with contempt of court when court officials informed the judge that Asher’s Facebook account remained active. Because Asher was charged with being in contempt of court, the judge had a right to sentence her to a brief stint in jail, and he happily obliged. Sources say that the judge sentenced Asher to a 48-hour sentence in the county jail. After she was released from jail, which occurred a few days ago, Asher wisely closed her Facebook account, but she did tell reporters she “didn’t think LOL would put me in jail.”
According to her attorney, Asher is now working, is “not driving,” and has promised not to return to Facebook. Asher also apologized to “everybody,” especially the judge, and said she “didn’t mean to hurt anybody.”
Asher’s intentions may have been innocent, but her actions were wildly inappropriate. Future DUI offenders should remember to keep any news of or comments about their DUI arrests off of social networks.
By John Clark
The head of elections in Fulton County, Georgia, is currently serving a 10-day jail sentence after failing to show up for a probation hearing related to a past DUI conviction, according to a recent report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Sources say that Sam Westmoreland, the elections chief in Fulton County, had his probation revoked by State Court Judge Wesley Taylor, who had allowed the official to postpone his jail sentence until after the county’s primary elections had been completed in July.
This summer, when Judge Taylor issued the delayed jail sentence, he said that doing so would prevent a “potential hardship upon the voters of Fulton County.”
So Westmoreland has known for a few months that his jail sentence was on the horizon, but sources say there is no indication whether the official will have to leave his post.
This week, the county’s election board has set a meeting to discuss Westmoreland’s future, which was already a bit cloudy thanks to pressure from voters and other election officials after the July primary vote was marred by a series of errors.
These errors included the election board’s faulty assignment of nearly 700 voters to the wrong state House and state Senate ballots. Westmoreland and his staff also missed the deadline to certify the results of the election by more than an hour.
DUI arrests don’t usually result in consequences as severe as a job loss, but Westmoreland’s unique position of authority does require that he hold himself to a higher standard of trust, according to some board members.
According to Bill Edwards, another Fulton County official, Westmoreland “needs to be gone” because his actions go straight to his “character.”
Westmoreland’s legal troubles started in December 2009, when state police arrested him after he was driving erratically and failed a field sobriety test.
A blood sample taken shortly after his arrest showed that he had been driving under the influence of benzodiazepine, a sedative that crippled his ability to drive safely.
After his arrest, however, Westmoreland failed to complete his studies at DUI school, and he failed to complete his community service hours, both of which were requirements of his probation agreement, according to sources.
Due to his blatant disregard for the terms of his probation, the court removed his deal, and sentenced him to the brief stint in jail. But the brief jail stint could prove very costly for the public figure.
By John Clark
Michael Turner, the popular running back for the Atlanta Falcons, was arrested for a DUI just hours after scoring a touchdown in the team’s victory over the Denver Broncos, according to a report from Sports Illustrated.
Sources say the 30-year-old athlete was booked into the Gwinnett County jail in Atlanta, Georgia, shortly after 5 a.m. that Tuesday morning.
Turner, however, only spent about two hours in an actual jail cell, and was eventually released on a $2,179 bond, according to sources.
In a news release, Edwin Ritter, a spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department, said the arresting officer “could smell an odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the driver and proceeded to conduct a DUI investigation.”
The officer had pulled Turner to the side of the road after the running back’s Audi R8 was seen traveling at 97 mph, which was 32 mph over the speed limit on the highway Turner was using.
Turner reportedly agreed to perform a field sobriety test, the results of which convinced the officer to haul Turner to jail.
The arrest capped a momentous day for Turner, who had scored the Falcons’ first touchdown against Denver just hours before he was caught for drunk driving. Sources say that the touchdown, which was his 51st for the franchise, set a team record.
The team ultimately prevailed over the Broncos by a 27-21 margin, capping a very successful opening to the season for the Falcons, who were predicted by many experts to win their division this year.
When asked by reporters how the arrest could affect Turner’s playing time, the team’s coach, Mike Smith, was cautious and diplomatic.
Smith said that “any time a player sheds negatively on our football team and on our organization, we are very disappointed,” but he also noted that this is a “legal matter, and it’s very well-defined how we have to proceed with it through the league, and we’ll let this process run its course.”
And Smith and Turner have already had a conversation about the incident .According to Smith, Turner “knows that we are disappointed in the decisions that he made after the ballgame last night.”
But Turner may not know his football fate for a while. Under the terms of the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, the team must follow specific guidelines before it’s able to punish Turner by docking his pay or suspending him from a game.