By John Clark
A 64-year-old retired firefighter was arrested and charged with drunk driving this week in Surprise, Arizona, despite the fact that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.00 percent, according to a report from the Huffington Post.
Sources say the driver, Jessie Thornton, claims he was merely being punished for “driving while black,” and he told sources that he plans to file a lawsuit against the Surprise Police Department.
Indeed, this prediction proved true, as Thornton later filed a notice of claim that he would soon sue the police department for violating his civil rights and causing emotional distress. The retiree plans to sue for $500,000, according to sources.
The lawsuit stems from an incident a few months ago when Thornton was charged with a DUI by Surprise police, even though both breathalyzer and blood tests revealed that he did not have a drop of alcohol in his system.
Sources say police pulled Thornton over after the driver crossed a white lane marker, and the responding officer, citing the driver’s bloodshot eyes, insisted he was drunk.
Thornton, however, told the officer that his eyes were simply irritated because he was traveling home from a local health club, where he had exercised in an indoor pool.
He also told officers that his poor performance on a sobriety test was due to chronic knee and hip problems that prevented him from walking smoothly, sources say.
After the police took Thornton to the station, he registered a sterling blood alcohol content of 0.00 percent, and toxicology experts concluded that he showed “no signs of impairment,” according to reports.
During this time, Thornton’s car was impounded, and his license was suspended. In addition, the state told him that he had to attend a DUI class.
After months of prolonged court negotiations, Thornton was finally able to have the charges dropped, but not before his reputation was irreparably damaged, according to the driver.
And this isn’t Thornton’s first trouble with local police. According to Thornton, he has been pulled over by Surprise police on 10 separate occasions and received four tickets for bogus traffic violations.
In the notice of his forthcoming lawsuit, Thornton claims that he has been a victim of racial profiling, and has consistently been abused by local police for four years.
In response to Thornton’s allegations, the Surprise police department refused to talk to sources, but attorneys for the local police will likely have their hands full if Thornton’s unsettling allegations prove to be true.
By John Clark
A 15-year-old resident of Reno, Nevada, was arrested for a DUI this week in addition to a grab bag of several other charges after rolling a vehicle on a state highway, according to a report from the Las Vegas Sun.
Sources say the teenager, whose name has not been released due to his status as a juvenile, was driving a 2005 Ford Focus on a Reno highway when he started veering into the right edge of the roadway.
There is no indication of how the teenager obtained the services of a vehicle, although sources do not say the car had been stolen.
After veering too far to the right, the teenager’s car reportedly hit a drainage culvert, which forced the vehicle into a wild spin, according to sources.
The Ford rolled several times before miraculously coming to a stop on its wheels about 40 feet from the road, sources say. The accident reportedly happened at 6:20 a.m.
When officers arrived at the scene of the accident, which, fortunately, only involved the teenager’s car, the driver showed “several signs of intoxication,” which prompted officers to quickly give a breathalyzer test.
After the teenager failed the breath test, he was reportedly taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released for minor injuries. Of course, after he was released, he was immediately arrested by Reno police.
However, due to his juvenile status, the teenager was taken due to a juvenile detention center, rather than a regular county jail. At the detention center, the driver was charged with drunk driving, possessing alcohol as a minor, failing to maintain a travel lane, and driving with a license or proof of insurance.
At first glance, it may seem odd that a person who was too young to drive could be charged with actual traffic offenses.
When a driver takes to the road, however, despite his age, his is subject to the rules of the road, even if he isn’t aware of them when he takes the wheel.
As a result, this teenager will likely have a lengthy history of driving violations before he is even old enough to be eligible to legally drive.
Remarkably, despite his foolish decision to get drunk and then drive without a license, the teenager did show some foresight by driving with a seat belt on.
According to local police officers, the teenager’s decision to wear a seat belt dramatically reduced his risk of injury, and may have even saved his life.
By John Clark
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.
By John Clark
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.
By John Clark
While judges often have to take stern measures to assure that defendants show up for DUI court appearances, they rarely have to worry about the presence of the arresting officers, who are usually expected to testify at DUI trials.
However, a member of the Florida Highway Patrol recently proved this theory wrong after failing to show up for a DUI trial.
John Costa was tossed into a county jail this week for contempt of court after failing to show up for a suspect’s DUI trial, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel. Costa’s failure to appear at trial forced the judge to dismiss the defendant’s case, according to sources.
Sources say that the 41-year-old state trooper failed to show up for a hearing in Volusia County a couples weeks ago. Court officials reportedly tried to contact Costa, but he failed to answer their phone calls and also refused to answer knocks on his home’s front door.
Thanks to his stubborn refusal to show up for trial, Judge Belle Schumann took the extraordinary step of charging him with contempt of court, and Costa began serving his five-day jail sentence earlier this week.
Interestingly, officials with the Florida Highway Patrol believe this is the first time one of their members has ever been thrown into jail for contempt of court. So Costa has certainly established a dubious milestone.
Sources believe his failure to appear for his trial could potentially end Costa’s tumultuous police career. Costa, however, recently told his supervisors that he plans to resign and leave the state, so he may be spared the indignity of being fired.
Costa’s troubles started last December during a routine drunk driving arrrest on a Florida interstate, according to sources.
On December 3, Costa pulled over Stephanie Halcomb after she sped by his patrol car at the wildly illegal speed of 92 miles per hour.
Costa smelled alcohol on Halcomb’s breath and discovered an empty bottle of 99-proof liquor in her car, so he administered a series of field sobriety tests, which the defendant reportedly failed.
Later, a breath test given to Halcomb revealed that she had a blood alcohol level of 0.192, which is well above the legal limit of 0.08.
This is all to say that prosecutors felt they had a very strong case against Halcomb, who had previously been convicted for a DUI three years earlier, and was facing up to a year in prison if she was convicted for a second DUI.
But Costa’s failure to show at trial left Halcomb off the hook, and court officials are now scrambling to learn why Costa took such an extraordinary step.
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
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
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
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
A Beverly Hills police officer was arrested for drunk driving after allegedly crashing his pickup into the side of a home in Simi Valley, California, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
Sources say that the off-duty officer, 42-year-old Jeffrey Sweet, crashed his pickup into a power pole, then steered it into the home, and then his vehicle flipped upside down onto a retaining wall.
When police officers arrived on the scene, late last Tuesday night, passersby had already helped Sweet crawl out of his upturned truck, according to the police report.
After officers noticed that Sweet was behaving in a way that was “consistent with his being under the influence,” they arrested their colleague and booked him into the Ventura County Jail.
Before taking Sweet to jail, though, the officers followed proper DUI procedure and escorted the mildly injured driver to Simi Valley Hospital, where he was treated and released.
Fortunately, no other people were injured in the accident, despite the fact that Sweet left a path of destruction that could have injured an entire neighborhood.
Sources indicate that Sweet’s vehicle struck a gas service line to the house that he eventually rammed, which forced local authorities to evacuate two nearby homes while firefighters from Ventura County repaired the dangerous breach.
In addition, police had to close a nearby street for several hours while city cleanup crews cleared debris and repaired the power poles that Sweet damaged during his ill-fated joyride.
Officers believe that Sweet missed a sharp curve while he was driving on Blackstock Avenue. The missed curve caused him to spin out of control and crash into the house and power poles.
Sweet is a resident of Simi Valley, but sources say that the Beverly Hills Police Department is helping with the investigation, although there is no word yet on whether Sweet will be able to keep his job as a police officer, or whether he will face any punishment from the department.
Of course, the police officer has bigger concerns right now. In a car accident that involves so much cleaning and repair work, drivers often have to reimburse the city for the cost of their mistake.
In addition, Sweet could be facing jail time, a serious fine, or a suspension of his driver’s license if he is convicted for driving under the influence in the next few weeks in a Ventura County criminal court.
By John Clark
The recently appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee.
Sources indicate that Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, who most recently served as the Fourth Bishop of Oakland, was arrested shortly after midnight last Saturday night when he was driving near San Diego State University.
The Catholic leader has been forced to summon the aid of a DUI lawyer, who will help guide him through his scheduled court arraignment in early October.
The 56-year-old man was caught at a DUI checkpoint that night, and sources say he was one of nearly a dozen other drivers who were arrested for DUIs.
At the checkpoint, Cordileone allegedly failed a sobriety test, after which he agreed to take a preliminary blood alcohol test that measured a blood alcohol level that was well above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, sources say.
At the time of the arrest, Cordileone’s mother was a passenger in the car. When her son was taken into police custody after failing his breath test, the mother was allowed to drive the car home after proving to police that she was sober and a licensed driver.
The news, however, could be worse for the newly appointed archbishop. Sources indicate that he was only charged with misdemeanor accounts of driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level higher than a legal limit.
Since his charge is only a misdemeanor, he may be able to escape the charge with just a fine or other relatively minor punishments, such as community service or a temporary suspension of his driver’s license.
Of course, under California DUI laws, Cordileone may be eligible to serve some jail time, even though his offense was a misdemeanor. Although, if this is his first DUI arrest, it is hard to imagine a judge sentencing the bishop to a lengthy jail sentence.
Sources say that Cordileone, a native of San Diego, was arrested just outside the school he attended for a year. The bishop eventually graduated from the University of San Diego, where he earned a degree in philosophy.
And while the arrest can’t be good for his career, sources do not say whether it will affect his future role as the Archbishop of San Francisco.
In recent years, Cordileone has served as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego, and is also a member of the University of San Diego Board of Trustees.
By John Clark
A man arrested for a DUI in Iowa last week raised law enforcement eyebrows across the country when he allegedly blew a blood alcohol reading that was nearly eight times the legal limit, according to a report from WFMY News.
According to a police official in North Liberty, Iowa, where the arrest occurred, 24-year-old Justin Clark had a blood alcohol content of 0.627 percent when he was arrested for drunk driving.
To put that number in context, the legal blood alcohol limit in most states, including Iowa, is 0.08 percent, and most drunk drivers tend to fall below the 0.25 mark.
According to Police Chief Jim Warkentin, a blood alcohol level of 0.627 is the highest he’s ever heard of in his 20-year career. In Warkentin’s words, it’s “just amazing the person was conscious to be that high. Most people don’t make it above .3, they end up passing out.”
Warkenin also told reports that, during his time at the police academy, his instructors taught him that a person with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.4 percent is considered “clinically dead.”
When asked how Clark could have consumed enough alcohol to register a 0.627 percent reading and still be able to remain upright, a local sheriff, Lonny Pulkrabek, said he had no idea, and that the highest blood alcohol measurement he can remember was a 0.50 percent in a fatal DUI accident years ago.
According to Pulkrabek, who offered an opinion very similar to that of his local counterpart, Chief Warkentin, a reading about 0.6 is “just mind boggling.”
And yet Clark managed to pull off the dubious feat. Sources say the man was pulled over by police after witnesses phoned 911 to let police know of a driver who was hitting curbs and swerving all over the road.
When the responding officers pulled Clark over, he was reportedly unable to answer any of their questions. In addition, he couldn’t leave the vehicle, walk, or perform any of the standard field sobriety tests, according to sources.
When the officers asked Clark where he was, he claimed that he was at home. When they asked what day it was, Clark responded by saying it was “three, but now it is four.” He was, by any standard, intoxicated beyond the point of lucidity.
And the most remarkable part of the story may be that he blew a 0.627 percent reading more than two hours after his arrest. For his actions, Clark, it can be assumed, may not be able to drive for quite some time.
By John Clark
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.
By John Clark
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.