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.
By John Clark
A man who was found sleeping drunk in his car next to a police station led police on a dangerous high speed chase around West Palm Beach, Florida, according to an alarming report from Florida’s WPTV News.
The man, 20-year-old Michael Fleurizard, had allegedly passed out behind the wheel of his car at roughly 3:30 in the morning. The driver, however, picked a poor location to nod off in his vehicle, as the Jupiter, Florida, police station was just a few yards away.
When officers approached the sleeping driver to try to wake him up, Fleurizard initially resisted their efforts to arrest him for a non-driving DUI, and sped away in his car.
When the drive veered out of the parking, he struck one of the officers and dragged the other several feet until the officer dislodged himself from the car.
According to Scott Pascarella, a spokesman for the Jupiter Police Department, local police then engaged in a high speed pursuit of the driver, who had turned a potential misdemeanor into a guaranteed felony with one very poor decision.
Midway through the pursuit, however, police realized that Fleurizard was a hazard to other drivers because he was driving so recklessly, so the police ended their chase and waited for the drunk driver to make a mistake. This happened pretty quickly.
Shortly after the Jupiter police ended their pursuit, they received a call from West Palm Beach police, who informed that that their suspect had crashed his car into a guardrail in their town.
Police from West and North Palm Beach were eventually able to handcuff Fleurizard, and they sent him to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries sustained in the one-car crash.
Hours later, the subject of the adrenaline-inducing DUI arrest was booked into Palm Beach County Jail. He faces charges of aggravated battery on a police officer, aggravated fleeing to elude and possession of both cocaine and marijuana.
Fortunately, both of the Jupiter police officers who were struck by the fleeing car only suffered minor injuries. One officer did not require any medical treatment while the other received treatment at the Jupiter Medical Center, according to sources.
In some DUI cases, drivers are foolish enough to fall asleep in their cars. In other cases, drivers in the wrong frame of mind will try to elude police. But it’s rare to see one driver make both of these huge mistakes at the same time.
By John Clark
In a frustrating end to a long saga for Sioux Falls prosecutors, a man who has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol five different times in the past five years has been released from jail without having to serve any time in prison.
The man, 57-year-old Randall Gene Hoogendoorn, received a sentence this week that only requires him to spend two years under “intense supervision,” according to a report from The Argus Leader, a South Dakota newspaper.
Sources indicate that prosecutors asked for a lengthy sentence due to Hoogendoorn’s criminal history, but Judge Robin Houwman felt that a lesser sentence offered the man “the best opportunity for rehabilitation.”
But despite the seemingly lenient sentence, Judge Houwman established strict guidelines that Hoogdendoorn must obey.
For example, the man will have to call his probation officers up to 50 times a day in order to meet the terms of his probation. If he fails to regularly report to his probation officer, Hoogdendoorn could face a term in prison of up to 10 years.
The judge apparently believed that heavily supervised probation would best serve the public interest, which is a decision many judges often make, as it keeps another person out of prison and saves taxpayer dollars.
Nevertheless, prosecutors were very surprised that the man left court with such a light sentence. Sources say that his latest arrest occurred when his blood alcohol content was 0.24 percent, which is three times the legal limit.
The latest arrest, though, was the first felony DUI conviction for Hoogendoorn. His previous DUI arrests were all misdemeanors, according to sources.
A recent change to DUI laws in South Dakota established that a person’s third DUI offense is automatically a felony, but this provision was enacted too late to play a role in Hoogendoorn’s previous trials.
So, instead of sending Hoogendoorn to prison for 10 years, state prosecutors had to settle for a 180-day stint in jail and a two-year probationary sentence.
Sources say that Hoogendoorn will also be placed under house arrest during the initial portion of his probation and that he will be required to call his probation officer when he wakes up, when he eats, and even when he leaves his room.
As Judge Houwman put it, the man is not “just being released out into the community.” On the contrary, it seems that Hoogendoorn will be a prisoner in his own home.
A Phoenix man has been taken into custody by police after a DUI stop led officers to discover the dead body of the man’s mother inside her home, according to a report from Phoenix’s ABC 15 News.
The man, whose name had not yet been released by sources, was arrested by police late Sunday night for driving under the influence of alcohol.
During the course of the arrest, the suspect apparently made bizarre comments about the owner of the vehicle that caused the officers to become “concerned.”
The arresting officers contacted police near the home of the vehicle’s owner, which turned out to be the man’s mother, and the responding authorities discovered the dead body of 46-year-old Danette M. Baxter.
Before they reached the body, police saw blood on the front door and evidence that someone had made a forced entry into the home. In addition, police say that Baxter’s body had obvious signs of trauma, and they are treating her death as a homicide.
The man who was charged with a DUI is being held as a person of interest in the death of his mother, although he has not yet been charged with a crime in relation to the apparent homicide.
Interestingly, neighbors who were interviewed by local sources said they believed that Baxter’s son had physically abused her in the past, but they also expressed their disbelief that he was capable of committing a murder.
But the neighbors also expressed shock at nature of the crime. According to Sydney Swart, one of Baxter’s neighbors, “[j]ust the thought process of a child doing that to their mother is horrifying. It really is,” although she again did not implicate Baxter’s son in the killing.
Sources suggest that Baxter had been living in Long Beach, California before arriving in Phoenix a few months ago. Police are in Long Beach conducting further investigations into the life of the arrested man.
And other neighbors shed some light on the man’s past. One nearby resident claims to have heard he “got into some trouble in California” and that “there was something bothering him,” but he couldn’t tell exactly what is was.
Other neighbors told local reporters that the man was an “interesting character” who mostly “kept his head down.”
It’s not uncommon for routine DUI arrests to unveil evidence of other crimes, although it is rare that a DUI stop leads police to a homicide scene.
Typically, searches incident to a DUI arrest will reveal illegal drugs or unlicensed weapons, but the discovery of a dead body is truly unique.
A Michigan resident is facing a remarkable seventh drunk driving charge, but his most recent DUI arrest was notable for an entirely different reason.
Raymond Kulma was arrested this week for allegedly driving a stolen motorized wheelchair while under the influence of alcohol, according to a bizarre report from USA Today.
Kulma, a 55-year-old resident of Sterling Heights, Michigan, was arrested in Utica, a northern suburb of Detroit, after he allegedly pilfered a motorized wheelchair from a retirement home and drove it around town while drunk.
Sources say that, at the time of his arrest, Kulma’s blood alcohol level was a staggering .241, which is more than three times the legal Michigan limit of .08, which is the DUI threshold in most states.
And this is not Kulma’s first run-in with the police, as Utica Police Chief David Faber recently told sources that the man has “quite the history and quite the drinking problem.”
Kulma reportedly has been arrested six previous times for driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In the past two and a half decades, Kulma has had his license suspended four times and revoked twice, according to sources.
And Kulma may also have violent tendencies. Sources say that the man stole the wheelchair from a senior living center after “a couple of punches were thrown.”
According to James Konkel, the understated man from whom the wheelchair was stolen, a brief period in jail might help Kulma “learn his lesson.” In an act of undeserved magnanimity, Konkel decided not to press charges against the drunken wheelchair thief.
One other interesting note from this case is that driving a motorized wheelchair in public while drunk does, in fact, amount to a DUI, at least in Michigan.
In many states, DUI laws are drafted in a way that makes it illegal to drive any motorized vehicle while drunk. So, in many jurisdictions, it may be illegal to be drunk while driving a scooter, a wheelchair, or even a motorized bike.
Granted, while drunk drivers are behind the wheel of a wheelchair or golf cart, they may be less of a threat to other drivers, but they can still be a threat to themselves, as well as pedestrians.
The primary focus of DUI laws is to prevent injuries and fatalities, which is why they extend to motorized vehicles that are smaller than typical passenger cars. So, joyriders be warned: If you’re going to ride around in a motorized wheelchair, it’s best to do so while sober.
Strange DUI stories happen all the time. People often do exceedingly bizarre things during DUI incidents, like run from the police, drive down roads in reverse, and offer arresting officers a drink. But rarely do the passengers take center stage.
One such incident took place in Dubuque, Iowa last week, when a man was reportedly arrested for drunk driving while a zebra and a parrot occupied the front seat of his truck.
The man, 55-year-old Jerald Reiter was charged with drunk driving as he was leaving a Dubuque bar in an apparent state of inebriation, according to a report from the San Jose Mercury News.
When they approached the vehicle, officers were stunned to see a pet zebra and a macaw parrot in the front seat of the car. In a picture, the zebra appears to be relatively small, so it was able to fit in the front of the small truck.
Sources say that Reiter and his girlfriend, Vickey Teters often take their pets for car rides. On this particularly Sunday, Reiter and Teters decided to take their pets to a bar that often allows them to bring their so-called children inside.
However, on this night, when Reiter tried to bring his animal friends into the bar, the owner said they couldn’t bring the zebra inside because the bar was serving food that night. This, apparently, would violate a municipal food safety ordinance.
Duly chastened, Reiter turned around and placed the animals back in his truck while several onlookers took pictures of the bizarre scene. Reiter told reporters that he believes one of these onlookers called police to let them know Reiter was drunk.
Unfortunately for Reiter, he was stopped by police before he was able to drive away. In his defense, Reiter claims that he never intended to actually drive, and that he was going to let a passenger take the wheel, but this defense likely won’t hold water in court.
In most states, a person can be charged with drunk driving if they are behind the wheel of their car with the key in the ignition, even if they are not actually traveling anywhere.
After police officers pulled Reiter from the car, he reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .14, which is significantly higher than Iowa’s legal limit of .08.
Sources say that Reiter was released from jail shortly after his arrest. At that time, he presumably went home to commiserate with his zebra and parrot, which were likely shaken from the whole ordeal.
A New Jersey man who had already been caught drunk driving four times in the last month was recently arrested for his fifth DUI in the past four weeks, according to a report from NBC 10 Philadelphia.
The DUI arrests all took place in and around Vineland, New Jersey, where 45-year-old Anderson Sotomayor apparently roams the streets in varying states of inebriation.
Sources indicate that Sotomayor was arrested for driving drunk three times in a span of only 16 days. These arrests took place on April 9, 11, and 25.
The latest incident took place this Saturday after police observed Sotomayor driving the wrong way down a one-way street. During his ill-advised journey, Sotomayor eventually struck a curb and careened off the road.
Unfortunately, the trip down a one-way street was not the most foolish drunk driving incident Sotomayor has created in the past few weeks.
On April 25, police in Vineland pulled Sotomayor over after they saw him swerving in and out of traffic while holding an open 40-ounce bottle of beer. This, of course, is a recipe for a legal and personal disaster.
And, on April 2, Sotomayor allegedly swerved around a school bus while it was unloading children, ran a red light, and slammed into another car. To make matters worse, the man fled from the scene of the accident, leaving a 31-year-old woman who later had to be treated at a hospital.
Police were able to locate Sotomayor after finding his handicap tag at the scene of the crime, and later tracking that tag to Sotomayor’s address, according to a report from the Daily Journal.
Readers might be curious how, exactly, Sotomayor was able to continue driving despite his frequent arrests. Sources suggest that Vineland police weren’t able to hold the man beyond a certain period of time, though no further details are available.
After each of his DUI arrests, it can fairly be assumed that Sotomayor was released on bail, so the judge in his latest case might try to set bail at an extraordinarily high level to prevent Sotomayor from getting back on the road before his trial.
The man is scheduled to make a court appearance for his first three DUIs on May 30. Until then, the court will likely try to detain Sotomayor as long as possible, but if he is released, drivers on Vineland roads should be wary of the serial drunk driver.
Thousands of people are arrested for DUI charges every day, but most of these arrests happen on highways and other public streets. Few DUI arrests are made in the privacy of one’s own home.
One Florida man, however, bucked this trend after he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol when police found him repeatedly backing his truck into trees in his own front yard, according to a remarkable report from WJXT Jacksonville.
Sources indicate that Dennis Jones, a 57-year-old resident of Paisley, Florida, was charged with drunk driving after an unsuccessful attempt to back out of his driveway.
According to the police report, Jones was trying to back out of his driveway last Tuesday morning around 10 a.m. when his efforts went horribly awry.
While backing out of a driveway does pose some occasional challenges, Jones took these difficulties to a new extreme as he spent at least 15 minutes trying to escape his front yard by ramming into trees and spinning his tires in dirt.
Neighbors who called police to report the odd behavior told dispatchers that Jones smashed into trees, dug his truck into a hole, and repeatedly spun his tires in a manner that slung dirt into a neighbor’s yard.
When police officers arrived on the scene, they claim that Jones had a strong smell of alcohol on his breath, was slurring his speech, and somehow was missing a lens in his eyeglasses.
In an effort to ease the authorities’ minds, Jones curiously tried to defend himself by claiming that he had imbibed “less than one pint of vodka” that morning, according to the police report.
In one of the most predictable field sobriety tests in the history of modern jurisprudence, Jones failed to prove to police that he was sufficiently sober to drive, and he was unceremoniously taken into police custody, where he could do no further damage to his own trees.
Less than an hour after his arrest, police administered a breathalyzer test to the hapless driver, and he blew a staggering .242, which is more than three times the legal limit.
Some curious readers might wonder if Jones will be able to argue his way out of a DUI conviction because his driving took place within the confines of his own yard. This argument, however, is not likely to hold sway, as the man was clearly a danger to himself and others, especially if he had been able to successfully maneuver his way out of his own yard.
An alleged drunk driver in California last week committed one of the cardinal sins of drinking and driving: showing a nearby police officer a certain middle digit.
Carlos Ruano, a resident of Sylmar, California reportedly drove by a police deputy in his Ford F-150 in a reckless manner and impolitely extended his middle finger in the officer’s direction, according to a report from SCV News.
Sources indicate that Ruano was “cutting in and out of traffic” down state highway 14 when he nearly rear-ended an unmarked police vehicle. To add to his questionable decision-making, Ruano then flipped off the officer.
According to the police report, which offers a nice summary of the incident, “[t]he pick up truck approached the deputy’s vehicle from the rear, the plain wrapped vehicle, and almost struck it. When he went by the deputy he ended up flipping off the deputy.”
Of course, the officer didn’t pursue Ruano simply because he insulted them. He also continued driving erratically after almost striking the car.
So, after the officer was rear-ended, he continued to pursue Ruano as he was traveling southbound on the highway, and called for assistance from the California Highway Patrol.
However, before the Highway Patrol was able to arrive, another nearby deputy in a marked vehicle joined the other officer in the pursuit of Ruano. After they fired their emergency lights, sources indicate that a dangerous chase ensued.
Sources say that the alleged DUI driver started to flee from the two deputies at speeds reaching as fast as 85 miles per hour through dangerously large amounts of traffic.
However, once officers from the California Highway Patrol appeared ready to join the chase, the suspect recognized that his situation was untenable, and he wisely pulled over to the side of the road.
According to the police report, Ruano “was taken into custody for fleeing police officers using a motor vehicle. He’s also been arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.” If convicted on both charges, Ruano could face some serious time in jail.
The charge for evading police officers is a serious felony offense, punishable by jail time and significant fines. But the DUI charge is no small allegation, either, as it could also lead to extra jail time, additional fines, and the loss of his license.
And, hopefully, Ruano learned some important lessons during his ordeal. Don’t drink and drive, and if you do, don’t flip off police officers and lead them on a high-speed chase.