Thomas Kinkade is known as the Painter of Light for his luminous, other-wordly paintings of rustic village scenes and spiritual scenery.
But the picture wasn’t so rosy for the famous artist when he was arrested for DUI in Carmel, California, recently, according to the Monterey Herald.
Kinkade was driving his 2006 Mercedes Benz just after nine o’clock in the evening on a Friday when police pulled him over because the car did not have a front license plate on it. When officers approached the vehicle, they could smell alcohol coming from the driver, Kinkade.
Officers called in the California Highway Patrol, who proceeded with their investigation for driving under the influence. A CHP officer gave Kinkade a field sobriety test, according to the CHP.
Kinkade, though polite and cooperative, did register “signs of impairment” in the judgment of the officer who was giving the field sobriety test.
The Painter of Light was then arrested and taken to a medical center, where the results of his blood-alcohol content were measured, and from which the results are pending. Kinkade was booked in jail and released on bail.
Kinkade is a resident of Carmel. The news came after the recent story that his production company was filling for bankruptcy.
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In another job for the California Highway Patrol, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested for suspicion of DUI on a recent Saturday evening. McDonald was allegedly driving 94 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone when he was pulled over.
He was driving a black BMW, and police noticed an odor of alcohol in the car when he approached the driver’s side. While it’s not known if McDonald took a breath test or a blood-alcohol content test, he did take a field sobriety test, and was arrested on suspicion of DUI after that point. He was booked into county jail and released soon after.
According to the 49ers, the 25-year-old McDonald quickly informed them of the incident. He was present at their most recent practice the morning after the arrest. He also apologized for his actions.
“My intent is just to come out here and work hard and try to win ball games this year,” he said. “And I don’t want this to be a distraction for the fans, my family, my teammates. That’s pretty much it.”
This wasn’t the first brush with the law at NFL training camp. In 2006, another 49er was stopped for speeding in the area. Receiver Antonio Bryant was driving his orange Lamborghini over 100 miles per hour when he passed a police cruiser on the highway. Bryant was so belligerent that he had to be held down with restraints. The charges were later dropped, though Bryant was suspended for four games.
California state Rep. Roy Ashburn’s DUI arrest earlier this month led the conservative politician to come clean about his sexual orientation.
For the past 14 years Ashburn has been a Republican senator who consistently voted against movements for gay rights, reports the Associated Press. But on a radio in his California district he came out out of the closet, saying: “I am gay… those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long.”
Ashburn is a 55-year-old father of four who stated he has always tried to keep his personal life separate from his professional life. But his recent drunk driving arrest brought both together under the public spotlight.
The senator was arrested near the Capitol in Sacramento on March 3rd for erratic driving. A breathalyzer test revealed Ashburn’s blood-alcohol level was .14, according to the Associated Press, well above the legal limit of .08.
After his arrest, news outlets reported that Ashburn was driving with an unidentified man in his government-owned car. The pair had allegedly left from Faces, a gay nightclub in the area.
Ashburn has been on leave from work since the arrest, but attended a Senate session where he was warmly received by Republicans and Democrats. The senator has basically tried to avoid the media, the Associated Press reported.
Ashburn has consistently voted against anything offering equality to gays, including a day of recognition for Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California.
As far as his voting in the Senate is concerned, Ashburn says his votes don’t necessarily reflect his own views, they reflect the way he feels his constituents would want him to vote. He doesn’t believe his work is a place to bring his own “internal conflict.”
The senator asked for support from friends and family, and says he has no plans to run for further public office after his current term ends.
Police officers in Vista, Calif. set up a checkpoint for drivers last weekend – and they really laid down the law.
According to the North County Times, four DUI arrests were made at the checkpoint, and 25 citations were issued for various offenses.
Among the crimes cited were marijuana possession, driving without a license, child seat violations and lack of insurance.
The North County Times also reported that more than 500 cars passed through the checkpoint and about 400 of the cars were inspected. Due to lack of insurance or unlicensed driving, 17 cars were impounded.
With so many cars going through a roadside checkpoint, it’s hard to know if the officers in charge are actually following the law. You should know state DUI laws when it comes to DUI arrests.
If you are cited for a violation at a police checkpoint, make sure you know your rights before proceeding through a trial. A DUI attorney can help clarify questions specific to your case and your local laws.
The North County Times reports on a dangerous and growing trend in California. It seems Hollywood’s starlets aren’t the only ones drinking, driving and crashing their cars.
The Times cites a report by the Automobile Club of Southern California that states DUI-related car crashes resulting in injury or death rose 124 percent in the last 10 years.
Among women 18-20-years-old, drunk driving crashes doubled.
DUI arrests also seem to be up among women in San Diego County, the Times reports. At Occupational Health Services, a group that administers court-ordered alcohol education following a drunk driving arrest, the percent of women enrolled has risen 10% in four years.
A California man was charged with a DUI offense earlier this week after an accident…in a golf cart.
DUI Laws vary from state to state–in at least one state, a charge of driving under the influence on a bicycle was successfully challenged. However, other states have separate statutes specifically prohibiting riding a bicycle on a public highway under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
While some states require a certain speed capability or horse power or engine size to qualify as a “motorized vehicle” under DUI laws, others define “motorized vehicle” simply as any self-propelled vehicle.
This potentially encompasses–as charges around the country have reflected–motor scooters, tractors, riding lawn mowers and, in at least one Florida case (ultimately dismissed), a motorized wheelchair.