Former Top Baseball Draft Pick Sent to Prison for Felony DUI

By johnclark


Matt Bush, the first overall pick in the 2004 amateur baseball draft, was sentenced this week to 51 months in prison after pleading no contest to a drunk driving charge, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Sources say Bush was widely believed to be a future superstar, but troubles with alcohol and several arrests eventually destroyed the young prospect’s career.

The latest incident for the 26-year-old happened this March, when Bush nearly killed a 72-year-old man in a hit-and-run accident, according to sources.

On that night, sources say Bush was driving a Dodge Durango that he had borrowed from a frien when he struck Tony Tufano’s motorcycle and quickly fled the scene of the accident.

When police finally caught up with Bush, who was driving without a license, they discovered that his blood alcohol level was 0.18 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit in Florida.

After the accident, Tufano reportedly stayed in intensive care for a few weeks. While in intensive care, the victim was treated for brain hemorrhaging, several broken bones, and a collapsed lung.

And while Tufano has made a partial recovery, his family members claim that he will never be the same, and expressed their disappointment that Bush only received a 51-month prison sentence.

Sources say that Bush pleaded no contest to a single charge, driving under the influence with serious bodily injury. In return for his plea, prosecutors agreed to drop six other charges stemming from the March accident.

But the prison sentence won’t be his only punishment. In addition to his prison term, Bush will have his license revoked in Florida for 10 years, since this is his third DUI conviction in the last decade. Bush will also have to pay a nominal amount of court costs.

Bush’s legal troubles, however, extend beyond his criminal conviction. Sources say that Trufano’s family has filed a $5 million personal injury lawsuit against Bush and the teammate who allowed him to drive his car without a license.

According to Shannon Moore, Tufano’s daughter-in-law, she and her family are “not too confident” that Bush won’t “do it again,” referring, of course, to the likelihood that Bush will continue to drive drunk after he is released from prison.

In addition, Moore pinned some of the blame on the Tampa Bay Rays, which signed Bush to a minor-league contract in 2010.

In her words, Bush “wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Rays, so I think the family is a little upset with the Rays, knowing Matt Bush’s history, all the DUIs, why would they bring him to this area?”



Your New Year’s Guide to Getting Home Safely

By Mike

Say goodbye to 2012 and party all night long, but make sure you get home safely on New Year’s Day!

In the U.S., January 1 ranks second for fatal car accidents, with more than 40 percent of accidents involving alcohol. Protect yourself and start 2013 off right by having a post-party plan.

new years get home safely

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Know Your Limits

  • Think before you drink—Do you know how many drinks will keep you under the legal limit? Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) calculators can give you an idea but they’re not 100% accurate.
  • BAC can be affected by height, weight, sex, body fat, even what you’ve eaten.
  • Pace yourself—alternate a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage.

Buddy Up

●     If you’re going out with a group of friends, choose a designated driver. (Consider having a backup as well.)

●     Keep an eye on your group. Never drive with someone who’s been drinking.

Phone a Friend

●     All alone and no one to take you home? Keep an emergency friend in your back pocket. (You’ll owe them big later, of course.)

Ask the Experts

●     The National Directory of Designated Driver Services (NDDDS) lists profit and nonprofit organizations that will send someone out to drive you and your car home.

●     AAA offers a Tipsy Tow service in some locales. You do not need to be a member. Other smaller local services may also exist, so look around.

Walk It Out

●     Be careful if you’re tempted to walk home. Pedestrian-involved accidents are higher on New Year’s than any other time of the year!

Sleep It Off

●     Partying at a friend’s house or a hotel and all your options are exhausted? Consider staying put. Better to crash on a couch than to crash on the road.

This infographic has been brought to you by Total DUI.



Child Star from ‘Home Improvement’ Pleads No Contest to Drunk Driving

By admin


Taran Noah Smith, the former child star who played Tim Allen’s youngest child on “Home Improvement,” was convicted this week for driving under the influence and drug possession, according to a report from the Huffington Post.

Sources say Smith was arrested back in February after police approached his vehicle when he was parked in front of a fire hydrant.

When the officers found Smith, they suspected that he was under the influence of marijuana due to the smell of the vehicle and promptly searched his car, which revealed that he had a significant amount of hash.

After discovering the drug, the police arrested the 28-year-old actor and charged him with a DUI and drug possession, according to sources.

In order to lighten his eventual sentence, Smith reported pleaded guilty to the charge of drug possession and “no contest” to the drunk driving charge. In most jurisdictions, a “no contest” plea carries the same weight as a guilty plea, but the defendant technically does not admit to his or her guilt.

By taking the plea bargain, Smith was likely given a lighter sentence. Sources say the former child star was sentenced to a six-month drug diversion program and three years of probation for the drug offense. For the DUI, he must complete a 12-hour education program.

Smith’s plight illustrates a common misconception about modern DUI laws. While drunk driving is the most common reason for a DUI, police officers can arrest people for driving under the influence of drugs like marijuana, as well.

And while the recent legalization of marijuana in a few states could complicated the enforcement of DUI drug laws, legislators remain steadfast in their disapproval of driving under the influence of pot.

This is a lesson Smith learned the hard way. Sources say, however, that this is the latest in a strong of troubling incidents for the child star, who has reportedly had long-term issues with drug abuse.

Smith became famous during the 1990’s when he played Mark on “Home Improvement.” The actor was only 7 years old when he first appeared on the show, and had a very public dispute with his parents over his earnings when he reached the age of majority.

In fact, Smith sued his parents in 2001 for allegedly wasting the money he earned on the show. The troubles he experienced during his acting career give a hint as to why Smith said it was “pretty exciting to leave it behind and do other things” when the hit show ended.



Rhode Island Couple Charged with Separate DUIs on Same Night

By johnclark


A man in Rhode Island was arrested for a DUI this week while he was driving to the police station to pick his wife, who had just been arrested for drunk driving, according to a remarkable report from The Providence Journal.

Few details from the evening have been released, but the incredible story shows the dangers of driving drunk, even when drivers feel they have a valid reason to get behind the wheel.

Sources say 43-year-old Stephanie Souza, a resident of Warwick, Rhode Island, was pulled over by police last Friday night after she was seen driving erratically on Route 95 in the small town of Cranston.

After police encountered Souza, they saw several signs that she was intoxicated, so they took her to the state police barracks at Lincoln Woods and administered a blood alcohol test, which revealed that she was indeed drunk.

Once she was at the police station, Souza took the reasonable step of using her allotted phone call to contact her husband. Presumably, she was looking for her husband to bail her out of jail so she didn’t have to spend the night behind bars.

Unfortunately, her husband, 44-year-old Michael Souza, responded dutifully to his wife’s request, despite the fact that he was also drunk when he received the call.

Sources say Michael Souza drove as far as the town of Lincoln before he was stopped by police for what sources call a “motor vehicle violation.”

When police encountered the husband in his car, they detected signs of intoxication, and gave him a blood alcohol test, which revealed that he had been drinking before he got behind the wheel of his car.

To add a bit of symmetry to the whole sordid affair, sources say the husband was also taken to the Lincoln Barracks, where his wife was being detained. Sources do not say whether they encountered each other in jail.

A rough comparison of the couple’s blood alcohol levels at the time of their arrest reveals the husband to be the less responsible driver, although Stephanie Souza certainly isn’t without blame.

Sources say the husband’s blood alcohol level was 0.191 percent, which is more than twice the legal Rhode Island limit of 0.08 percent. Two tests given to the wife showed that she was somewhere between a 0.145 and 0.138 percent, both of which are also well above the legal limit.

The wife is scheduled to be arraigned on December 18, while her husband will be arraigned two weeks later.



Extremely Drunk Driver Rescued from Truck Dangling over Oregon Bridge

By admin


A drunk driver in Oregon was rescued by emergency personnel after his pickup truck crashed through a guardrail and left him hanging from an overpass, according to a riveting report from CBS News.

Sources say 38-year-old Matthew Alan Hamilton was driving his truck along a highway in Beaverton, Oregon, when he drunkenly plunged through a guardrail that protected vehicles from a precipitous drop.

After speeding through the guardrail, Hamilton, who fortunately was the only person in his truck, was left hanging vertically over a four-lane highway below the bridge.

The first responders to the scene were from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, and sources say they “safely secured” the vehicle to prevent it from falling into the highway while Hamilton sat nervously in the front seat.

A picture from the scene reveals that Hamilton’s truck seemed to be defying the rules of physics by remaining attached to the bridge, and observers believe Hamilton was very lucky to have only suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Sources say Hamilton had to be pulled from the hanging truck by a fire engine that had a special basket. In addition, the highway below the hanging truck had to be shut down for several hours as highway workers removed the truck.

Despite his remarkable rescue, Hamilton’s troubles are just beginning. Sources say he had a blood alcohol level of 0.50 percent at the time of the crash, which is more than six times the legal limit of 0.08 percent in Oregon.

Immediately after he was rescued, Hamilton performed a field sobriety test for police officers, and apparently failed with flying colors.

According to sources, a brief analysis of Hamilton’s body weight and blood alcohol level suggest that, if he had been drinking for three hours before the crash, he would have had to consume 26 typical beers to reach such an incredible level of drunkenness.

To be fair, Hamilton had probably been drinking for longer than three hours, but such figures can give the reader some idea of how difficult it is to register such a remarkable blood alcohol percentage.

After his arrest, Hamilton was taken to the Washington County Jail, which is probably less frightening than hanging over a four-lane highway in a crippled pickup. He is being held on a $8,260 bond.

The wayward driver has been charged with four counts of probation violation, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, and driving under the influence.



‘Tis The Season for DUIs

By Mike

In December 2010, alcohol-related car accidents caused an average of 25 deaths per day, accounting for 30% of all motor vehicle accidents that month. New Year’s Day has been found to be the deadliest day of the year for drunk driving deaths.

In this infographic, you’ll learn how to avoid a DUI arrest this season. (hint – don’t drink and drive!)

dui tis the season

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Who’s Most at Risk?


  • Men represent 78% of the drivers invovled in fatal alcohol-related accidents.

Young Adults:

  • Drivers 21 to 34 years old were alcohol impaired and involved in fatal crashes more often than any other age group.

Night Drivers:

  • Drivers on the roadways between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. were involved in 78% of alcohol-related fatalities in December 2010.
  • Nearly half of drivers involved in fatal crashes from 12 a.m. to 2:59 a.m. had BACs of .15 or higher.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

  • The national DUI enforcement blitz.
  • The campaign will run from December 12, 2012, to January 1, 2013.
  • Local law enforcement will be on the lookout for impaired drivers.

DUI Prevention

  • Plan Ahead: Find a designated driver if you’ll be drinking.
  • If you’ve been drinking, stay where you are.

Time is the only thing that sobers a person.

  • The liver metabolizes one drink an hour.

If you cannot stay where you are:

  • Call a taxi.
  • Call a family member or friend.
  • Use public transportation.

Do not let anyone who’s been drinking get behind the wheel.

This report is brought to you by Total DUI.



Drug and Alcohol Counselor Arrested for Causing DUI Accident

By admin


A drug and alcohol counselor in California was arrested for an alleged DUI this week, which shows just how common the crime is, according to a report from ABC News.

Sources say 51-year-old Sherri Lyn Wilkins, a rehabilitation counselor at Twin Town Treatment Center in Torrance, California, is facing charges of manslaughter and drunk driving after striking and killing a pedestrian.

The details of the accident are gruesome. Sources say the victim, 31-year-old Philip Moreno, was trying to cross a busy intersection when Wilkins struck him head-on with her vehicle.

Shockingly, after striking Moreno, Wilkins continued to drive for two miles while the man was stuck in her windshield. Several witnesses reportedly forced Wilkins to stop after seeing the man in her windshield.

According to Sgt. Robert Watt, a police officer in Torrance, Wilkins “had panicked behind the wheel after striking the gentleman and did not know what to do.”

Moreno had been with friends at a bar watching a sporting event when he left early to walk home. According to his friend, Jennifer Grebb, Moreno decided to walk home instead of drive because he was “doing the right thing.”

Sadly, if the allegations are true, Wilkins certainly did the wrong thing, as she chose to drive while intoxicated despite her close personal knowledge of the dangers of drunk driving.

Sources suggest that Wilkins had her own troubles with substance abuse before stepping into the role of a rehabilitation counselor at Twin Town.

According to the facility’s CEO, David Lisonbee, who confirmed that Wilkins had been working there before the accident, “[n]o one, including counselors, are immune from the possibility of relapse.”

Lisonbee also noted that he and his cohorts were “comfortable that she was in a program of recovery for a period of time prior to this incident.” Sources say that Wilkins will be back in court this week for an initial hearing.

Alas, despite Wilkins’ intimate knowledge of the perils of drunk driving, she chose to get behind the wheel while she was intoxicated. Her story can serve as a cautionary tale to others.

In recent months, counselors, ministers, and other community leaders have all caused DUI accidents across the country. These incidents reveal that, despite the progress that has been made, drunk driving remains a common, but easily preventable, crime.

Instead of driving drunk, hail a taxi, take public transportation, or call a friend. The potential consequences of driving drunk far outweigh any perceived benefits.