By John Clark
Joe Morgan, a veteran wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, was arrested in Jefferson Parish this weekend for driving under the influence, according to a report from NBC Sports.
Sources say the 25-year-old NFL player was charged with a DWI and driving without a license, according to local police reports.
The incident occurred in the wee hours of Saturday morning, when a witness called police to report a stalled car on a local expressway.
When the responding officer arrived at the scene of the disabled car, which was resting on the shoulder of the highway, he found Morgan behind the wheel, and the football player was allegedly asleep.
The officer gave Morgan a rude awakening, and asked him to step out of the car. When Morgan stumbled out of his vehicle, he reportedly appeared drunk, as he had difficulty staying upright and had bloodshot eyes.
When Morgan took the field sobriety test, he didn’t offer the officer any proof that he was sober, so the police official arrested the wide receiver and transported him to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, according to sources.
The officer’s instincts proved correct, as Morgan reportedly blew a .218 during his breathalyzer test. This blood alcohol level is more than twice the legal limit in Louisiana, sources say.
To make matters worse, Morgan does not have a valid driver’s license, which will only heighten his legal troubles, and could lead to a larger fine or a longer jail sentence, depending on the unique circumstances of Morgan’s arrest.
And while Morgan has a long road ahead as he attempts to clear his name, he was able to leave jail later that day after posting a $1,150 bond, according to reports.
Morgan’s arrest comes after a relatively quiet spell for the NFL, which has had numerous players arrested for drunk driving over the last 12 months. League officials have grown concerned that the spate of arrests could diminish the league’s popularity.
But professional football remains the most popular sport in the United States, and fans seem willing to look past such incidents.
Sources say Morgan is expected to be his team’s third-best receiver this year, and is coming off a successful season in which he scored three touchdowns.
The young receiver took an uncommon route to NFL success, as he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Saints in 2011. When contacted by reporters, both Morgan and a team spokesman declined to comment on his recent arrest.
By John Clark
Just days after her famous mother retired from broadcasting, the daughter of Barbara Walters was arrested for a DUI after an altercation with police, according to a report from the Huffington Post.
Sources say 44-year-old Jacqueline Walters Danforth had to be tackled by police so she wouldn’t run into traffic, and she could be facing extensive criminal penalties for her actions.
Sources say Danforth was driving a Honda Pilot around 1:00 in the morning in Naples, Florida, when police pulled her over after receiving calls about a car without its lights on stopped in the middle of the highway.
When police arrived at the car, they claim that Danforth and a male passenger, who is presumed to be her boyfriend, were “extremely intoxicated.”
Indeed, according to sources, Danforth submitted to a breathalyzer test that revealed a blood alcohol content of .218, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08.
Events took a turn for the worse when the police officers attempted to place handcuffs on Danforth’s companion. When they made a move towards his hands, Danforth allegedly began shouting and tried to grab one of the responding officers.
After yelling at the police and making attempts to grab them, Danforth apparently looked as if she was about to run into traffic, so police tackled her to avoid further incident.
In the police report, the arresting officer said he “was afraid that the suspect may run into traffic on the highway, so she was taken to the ground due to her unpredictable behavior, then secured in handcuffs.”
Sources say she was eventually subdued and taken to a police station for booking. She was released a few hours later on a $1,000 bond, according to sources.
According to reports, Danforth has kept a clean criminal record as an adult, but famously had a troubled childhood, which involved drug abuse and a successful attempt to run away from home.
Sources also note that Danforth had a series of television specials with her mother in which she candidly discussed her wild teenager years. Walters also discussed her daughters’ troubles extensively in her biography, as well as several other interviews.
When Danforth was struggling with drug abuse, Walters sent her to a rehabilitation program, which helped Danforth recover from her early woes.
Thanks to the experience with her daughter, Walters started her own program for girls with substance abuse issues, but that facility eventually closed.
Guest blog post written by MrCheckpoint
For a fun and safe and celebratory weekend, MrCheckpoint recommends the following tips:
- Map out a safe route home before the festivities begin
- If you plan on drinking, find a sober driver and leave your car keys home
- Taxis, call a friend or family member or use the buses and/or trains
- Use 911 services if you recognize a potential drunk driver on the roadway
- Offer help to a drunk person in an effort to get the person home safely and take his/her keys away for their own safety
- Sign up at MrCheckpoint for free DUI Checkpoint text alerts
Sobriety Checkpoints have been discovered to be very beneficial in reducing the number of alcohol related deaths and injuries on the streets.
Therefore, checkpoints are not set up to harass drivers, but are in place as a safety measure. In addition to this, research supports the 20% decrease in alcohol related crashes.
There will be momentary stops for all drivers passing through the police checkpoints. Motorists can expect to have their licenses and insurance information checked and measures taken to determine their level of alcohol and/or drug impairment.
There are penalties involved for driving while impaired, which include things from fees, fines, DUI classes, license suspension as well as jail time.
Not having a sober, designated driver has caused fatal consequences for impaired drivers. In fact nearly 10,000 people were killed in 2011 as a result of there being at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher.
Again, there is documented evidence that shows checkpoints to be very useful and effective tools for any DUI enforcement strategies. What makes them most effective is when they are well publicized.
Get real time DUI Checkpoint text alerts free when you text the word NODUI to the number 51515.
A very effective safety measure, checkpoints are an essential part of keeping motorists, pedestrians, and the general public safe. Without checkpoints, we risk more people dying and being injured. Instead of causing apprehension, DUI checkpoints should engender security with the people of any community.
By John Clark
A Chicago limo driver was arrested for a DUI this week while driving 23 high school students to their prom, according to a report this week from the Chicago Sun-Times.
The driver, 54-year-old Richard Madison raised his passengers’ suspicions from the beginning of the trip, according to several teenagers who were in the car at the time of the arrest.
According to Kelly Dano, one of the passengers, Madison appeared “sketch” at the start of the trip, which included a jump over a median, near collisions with at least three cars, and a trip to the wrong hotel.
During the harrowing trip, several of the students called their parents to complain about Madison’s driving, and a few upset parents promptly notified police, who confronted Madison once he arrived at the proper hotel.
When they approached Madison, deputies from the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office performed a field sobriety test on Madison, who eventually submitted to a blood alcohol test that revealed a BAC well above the legal limit, according to sources.
So, while the teenagers filed into the hotel to safely celebrate their prom, Madison was arrested for reckless conduct and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Madison, however, maintains that he is innocent. He told sources shortly after the incident that the limo had several mechanical problems that led to the erratic driving.
The driver also told sources that, if he was guilty, he would still be in jail, and not “at home right now.” Of course, Madison was only at home because he had posted bail, which judges often allow for criminal defendants who do not appear to be a serious flight risk.
Nevertheless, Madison will have his day in court, and may be able to mount a successful criminal defense, depending on the circumstances of his arrest.
Still, the limo driver already appears to have been convicted in the court of public opinion, as several parents told local news sources that they couldn’t believe the limo company had allowed Madison to drive the teenagers to the prom.
According to Lori Dano, the mother of Kelly Dano, she and other parents pay for limo services so that their children are safe and the parents “don’t have to worry about them driving an hour away by themselves.”
By providing an allegedly drunk driver, the limo company defeated the purpose of this common plan, and may have opened itself up to a potential lawsuit, if the parents of the teenagers are so inclined.
By Mary Ann Pekara
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made their recommendation. Now the states can decide if they want to adjust the BAC threshold from .08 to .05 and the federal government can decide if they want to provide incentives to push states in one direction or another.
Considering it took 24 years to get all 50 states to change the BAC limit from .15 to .08 (1980-2004), we may be talking about this for quite some time.
The real question is: If this new threshold goes into effect, what will the impact be?
The NHTSA is looking at how many lives will be saved but is this .05 to .08 BAC group of people the people to be most concerned about?
In an August 2012 report, the NHTSA reported that of all alcohol impaired driving fatalities, 70% involved a driver with a BAC of .15 or more.
In fact, in 2010, the most common BAC on record in fatal crashes involving drinking drivers was .18.
Given that many DUI fatalities result from crashes where a driver had a BAC higher than .08, how likely is it that further lowering the BAC limit will have a strong impact on these drivers who are involved in the majority of alcohol impaired driving fatalities?
While lowering the BAC level further may help to prevent additional fatalities, perhaps more focus needs to be directed to increasing focus and penalities on the higher BAC groups.
By Mary Ann Pekara
The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Safety Report entitled “Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Alcohol-Impaired Driving” was adopted today.
The report contains several recommendations from the NTSB but the most prominent is the recommendation of a lower Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit, in hopes of cutting down on alcohol related crashes.
The NTSB is recommending that states lower their BAC limits, which currently sit at 0.08, to 0.05 or lower.
The NTSB itself can only make recommendations, not regulations, and the BAC regulations themselves are set at the state level; therefore, they have recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have the authority to provide incentive grants for states implementing this recommendation.
The current 0.08 BAC threshold is nationwide and has been for over a decade, but it was not easy getting there.
In the early 1980’s many states had a BAC threshold of 0.15 and it took 24 years to get all 50 states down to the 0.08 limit. The statistics show the difference:
Alcohol Related Highway Fatalities
Statistics show that the 0.05 BAC limit has the potential to save 500-800 lives per year.
Although that may be the most drastic of the NTSB’s recommendations in this Safety Report, it is not the only one.
A recommendation that many states have already implemented is the confiscation of the driver’s license at the time of arrest for people who exceed a certain BAC or refuse BAC testing.
The NTSB would also like to see ignition interlock devices being required for all first-time offenders. These devices prompt the driver to blow into them, checking their BAC, before they are able to start their car.
During accident scene responses, sobriety checkpoints and traffic stops, just to name a few, the NTSB recommends the use of passive alcohol sensors that would essentially “sniff” the presence of alcohol at the scene.
Although technology like this could not be used to arrest someone, it would assist in prompting additional field sobriety and BAC testing.
The overall goal of the National Transportation Safety Board is to bring our country’s substance-impaired driving statistics down as close to zero as possible.
By John Clark
This week, Bishop Robert McManus, the 61-year-old leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, pleaded not guilty to a charge of drunk driving, according to a report from Fox News.
Sources say McManus was arrested for a DUI in Narragansett, Rhode Island, after reportedly crashing into another car and fleeing from the scene, according to a police report.
The driver of the car that McManus allegedly struck reportedly called police after the accident. Sources also note that McManus has a vacation home near the scene of the accident.
After his arrest, McManus was briefly detained by police, but sources say the bishop pleaded not guilty during his arraignment and has been released from jail after posting a $1,000 bond.
During the arraignment, where he formally received his charges, the bishop wore his white clerical collar and sat in silence, allowing his local DUI attorney to enter the plea for him, sources say.
His attorney told reporters outside the courtroom that the bishop has been instructed to refrain from commenting on the matter.
The attorney, however, did cite a statement issued by McManus on Monday that admitted to a “terrible error in judgment” stemming from the bishop’s decision to drive after drinking a few glasses of wine earlier that evening.
In his statement, McManus said there was “no excuse for the mistake I made,” and he promised to “make amends and accept the consequences of my action.”
McManus also made a sincere plea for forgiveness from his church community, as well as his friends and family, according to sources.
Despite this apparent confession, though, McManus pleaded not guilty in court, which means his DUI attorney may believe the bishop could escape the charges of drunk driving and fleeing the scene of an accident.
Sources say McManus refused to take a blood alcohol test at the scene of the crime, which could lead to further civil penalties, but also complicates the prosecutor’s attempt to convict him.
The bishop is a native of Providence, Rhode Island, and reportedly worked as an auxiliary bishop in Rhode Island’s largest city for five years.
In 2004, McManus was appointed to lead the Worcester Diocese in Massachusetts. Sources say he has also served as the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Education.
The bishop’s next court appearance will happen on May 28, when he will begin to fight against the drunk driving charges the state has leveled against him.
By John Clark
Former NBA point guard Kenny Anderson was arrested for a DUI this week in south Florida, and has lost his job as a result of the arrest, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to sources, Anderson, 42, was pulled over by police in Pembroke Pines, Florida, last Saturday night after failing to signal before changing lanes.
After failing a field sobriety test, Anderson was asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, which revealed that his blood alcohol level was 0.194, which is well above Florida’s legal limit of 0.08.
As a result of his arrest, three days later, Anderson was reportedly fired from his job at David Posnack Jewish Day School, where he coached the basketball team.
Sources note that the school’s decision to fire Anderson after his drunk driving arrest wasn’t necessarily based on that one fateful decision.
According to reports, Anderson was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident in December 2011, when he reportedly drove his Cadillac Escalade into two trees on a road in Broward County, Florida.
To add suspicion to the accident, Anderson originally told responding officers that a flat tire caused him to lose control of his car, but investigators noted that none of the car’s tires were flat when they surveyed the scene after the crash.
No one was injured in the accident, and Anderson was charged with a misdemeanor driving offense, according to police reports.
So while Anderson was able to keep his job at the small, private high school following his first driving incident, he was not able to convince school officials to keep his post after the DUI arrest.
Of course, the school may have also grown tired of Anderson’s lack of success on the court. According to sources, his team finished 1-13 last season, and the team has reportedly failed to improve since he took the helm in August 2013.
The firing is a professional setback for Anderson, who played for nine NBA teams between 1991 and 2005 and has said he’d like to eventually coach college basketball.
Anderson was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, and finished his college education in 2010, receiving a degree in organization leadership from St. Thomas University in Miami, according to sources.
Anderson has previous experience coaching in the Continental Basketball Association, which may be the next place he turns as he looks to reform his reputation following his DUI arrest.