After amassing a fortune by creating the Wal-Mart retailing juggernaut, Sam Walton left billions of dollars in inheritance money for his descendants. As a result of this massive inheritance, Walton’s relatives still remain in the spotlight, whether they like it or not.
One Walton heiress who recently captured the public’s attention is 62-year-old Alice Walton, who recently spent her birthday in a Texas jail after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
According to the Mineral Wells Index, a Texas newspaper, Walton was stopped by police after committing a traffic violation while driving through a construction zone at night. Police arrested Walton for a DUI after she failed a field sobriety test.
During the incident, Walton had refused to take a breathalyzer test to determine her blood alcohol content, but the officers still arrested her based on her subpar performance in the sobriety test.
Local police told the newspaper that they intended to treat the billionaire heiress just like any other DUI offender, but critics noted that the police initially failed to put her mug shot on the police department’s website, which is the usual protocol.
After inquiries from local media sources, the police did post Walton’s mug shot, which shows a disappointed Walton in blue jailhouse garb.
In a statement released by her attorney, Walton admitted to driving 16 miles per hour over the speed limit while driving home from a birthday dinner at a restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas. The statement said Walton accepted “full responsibility” for the incident and that she “deeply regrets it.”
While a DUI arrest doesn’t usually receive much public attention, Walton’s arrest was noteworthy due to her fame and her prior criminal record.
Sources indicate that Walton had previously been arrested for a DUI in 1998 in Springdale, Arkansas. She was also involved in an accident in 1989 that resulted in the death of another driver.
Both of these driving incidents, however, did not result in a criminal conviction. In the DUI case, she simply paid a few hundred dollars in fines.
Walton undoubtedly regrets the attention she received for her arrest, but she is certainly a public figure given her estimated $21 billion net worth.
This healthy sum places her among the top 10 richest people in America, according to a study in Forbes magazine. The top 10 list also includes a few of her relatives. The Walton fortune is so large, it still creates obscenely wealthy individuals when divided in several parcels.
Members of the Walton family are considered royalty in their native Arkansas, where Walton founded the first Wal-Mart store decades ago.
The Waltons have donated millions of dollars to American and international charities, and still maintain some control over the business operations of the retailing giant.
DUI, Alcohol & Driver Safety Information
Here at Checkpoints, we know that dealing with a DUI can be difficult. There’s the emotional stress of confronting the incident, the process of finding a DUI attorney, court dates and any number of other related issues that go into resolving a DUI case.
Fortunately, there are tons of great resources and blogs out there for information on topics related to drunk driving. The Checkpoints team keeps a number of blogs bookmarked for easy access. After sharing them amongst ourselves, we thought it would be helpful to offer readers a definitive list of our 44 favorite DUI, alcohol and driver safety resources.
We may not be affiliated with the following blogs, but in our opinion, they’re the best of what’s out there and we’re proud to give them the recognition they deserve.
To make your browsing experience as easy as possible, we’ve broken the list down into the following categories:
- Drunk Driving
- Alcohol News & Information
- Alcoholism Treatment & Recovery
- Driver Safety
A big congratulations to our winners, and thanks for all the excellent reading. Keep up the great work!
- Blog to Eliminate Drunk Driving. The official blog of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) details the inspiring work the organization is doing around the country and serves as an excellent resource for issues related to drunk driving, drunk driving victim services and underage drinking prevention. Read it: http://maddonline.blogspot.com/
- Behind the Wheel. The official blog of DrinkingAndDriving.Org, Behind the Wheel is written by citizens committed to public safety, respect for the law, and responsibility. They believe education is the most powerful tool for making sure those who choose to drink never choose to drink and drive. Read it: http://www.drinkinganddriving.org/blog/
- DWI Blog. Chris Alexander’s blog is a great resource for comprehensive information on the laws and rules governing DWI. In an attempt to make the roads a safer place, Chris regularly posts news updates and current research about drinking and driving trends. Read it: http://www.aboutdwi.com/blog/
- Breathalyzer Blog. This is exactly the kind of blog you might expect from a company specializing in personal safety devices. The Breathalyzer Blog covers stories about alcohol safety and drunk driving prevention. Read it: http://www.q3ats.com/blog/
Alcohol News and Information
- Alcohol News. Updated every Monday, Alcohol News is a great blog for staying up to date on alcohol-related news around the world. Whether you skim the headlines or read the full articles, Alcohol News is always good for getting a big picture snapshot of alcohol policy on a global scale. Read it: http://alcoholweekly.blogspot.com/
- Alcohol Reports. This blog is a one-of-a-kind resource collecting the most current news, reports, publications and peer-reviewed research articles about alcoholism and alcohol-related problems on a global scale. The editorial team strongly encourages the sharing of research findings and always provides contact information for authors. Read it: http://alcoholreports.blogspot.com/
- Beer Booze News. If it’s alcohol news you’re interested in, you’ll be hard pressed to find a blog updated more regularly than Rob K.’s Beer Booze News. From tax increases to prevention, he covers it all and he covers it often. Read it: http://www.beerbooznews.com/
- Drinkaware. If you’re looking for a definitive source of information on responsible drinking, you won’t do much better than the UK’s Drinkaware. They may be based across the pond, but the resources you’ll find here are easily applicable anywhere. Read it: http://www.drinkaware.co.uk
- Points. The official blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society is written by a group of scholars with wide-ranging expertise. Together they offer original reflections on the history of alcohol and drugs, the policy surrounding them, and their place in popular culture. Read it: http://pointsadhsblog.wordpress.com/
- Alcohol Law Review. Paul Pisano, Senior Vice President of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, keeps you current on alcohol regulation and legislation at the Alcohol Law Review. From court cases to Congress, this blog has all kinds of useful legal information regarding alcohol. Read it: http://www.alcohollawreview.com/
- The Politics of Drinking. Written by freelance journalist Phil Mellows, The Politics of Drinking covers, among other things, the UK pub industry and alcohol policy. As an authority on the subject, Phil offers opinion and insight on news and research related to the alcohol industry. Read it: http://www.philmellows.com/
- Drinking Diaries. Caren and Leah write about women’s issues, education and travel for a variety of publications, but at Drinking Diaries they write about … drinking. More specifically, the blog is designed to be a forum for women to share, vent, express and discuss their drinking stories without judgment. Above all else, Drinking Diaries is a true community, through and through. Read it: http://www.drinkingdiaries.com/
- S.A.D. Blog. This Tumblr blog from Stop Alcohol Deaths (S.A.D.) is devoted to promoting responsible drinking. News stories, opinions, cartoons and more make up S.A.D.’s collection of original and found content. Read it: http://tumblr.stopalcoholdeaths.com/
Alcoholism Treatment & Recovery
- The Immortal Alcoholic. A truly honest and heartfelt blog from the wife of an end-stage alcoholic. Linda shares all kinds of personal stories detailing her trials and frustrations; she also provides some great information and insight about the facts related to alcoholism. Read it: http://immortalalcoholic.blogspot.com/
- The Alcohol Harm Reduction Blog. This is the official blog of HAMS, a peer-led network devoted to bettering the lives of drinkers and non-drinkers by promoting safe alcohol use. Posts are generally written by Kenneth Anderson, the author of How to Change Your Drinking: A Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol, and are an excellent source of information about safe drinking habits. Read it: http://hamsnetwork.wordpress.com/author/porkchoptze/
- Alcohol Awareness Speaker. At the age of 18, Marcus Engel was blinded and nearly killed when he was hit by a drunk driver. After years of rehab and hours of reconstructive surgery, Marcus has regained control of his life and now speaks professionally about overcoming adversity. On his blog, Marcus offers personal thoughts on a number of inspirational topics. Read it: http://alcoholspeaker.blogspot.com/
- Journey Healing Centers Blog. Still in its infancy, we’re excited to promote the new blog from Journey Healing Centers. Their hope is that it will provide a place for anyone involved with drug or alcohol rehab to strengthen one another and find support. We hope so too. Read it: http://www.journeyrecoverycenters.com/blog/
- The Alcohol Free Social Life. If you’re thinking about giving up alcohol, this blog deserves a bookmark on your browser’s toolbar. The Alcohol Free Social Life offers useful information about how alcohol affects you and how you can live without it. Read it: http://www.alcoholfreesociallife.com/blog/
- At the Bottom of My Gin Cup I Found Tea. James Robe was previously a personal chef to the Dutch Ambassador; he is now the owner of Driftwood Tea. Along the way he picked up another title – Sober. His personal blog chronicles his progress and achievements along the way. Read it: http://gincup.com/
- Alcoholism Support Blog. Filled with posts about current topics related to alcoholism, this blog is a great resource for someone struggling to deal with an alcohol addiction. The goal of the Alcoholism Support Blog is to help individuals understand the problems and issues that lead to alcoholism in the first place. Read it: http://www.alcoholism-support.org/alcoholism-blog.html
- The Discovering Alcoholic. Clean and sober since ’94, Gavin is known by his readers as “The Discovering Alcoholic.” He recently handed off most of the writing on his blog to his good friend “Screedler,” who continues to prove, post after post, that the road to recovery is not a dead end. Read it: http://discoveringalcoholic.com/
- Healing Imperfectly. People clean up everywhere. The author of Healing Imperfectly recently celebrated her first year of sobriety while on active duty in Afghanistan. Her blog posts are always heartfelt and offer up an honest look inside one woman’s personal healing process. Read it: http://healingimperfectly.blogspot.com/
- Breaking the Cycles. Lisa Frederkisen, who alone has more than 40 years of experience with family alcohol abuse and alcoholism, found Breaking the Cycles in 2008. The site’s blog is an excellent source of news and insights regarding substance abuse and addiction. Read it: http://www.breakingthecycles.com/blog/
- Working Partners. As an organization dedicated to helping companies maintain a drug-free workplace, Working Partners uses its blog as a platform for providing all kinds of useful information about drug and alcohol safety. Read it: http://blog.workingpartners.com/
- Thinking About Drinking. This blog is an extremely interesting documentation of one individual’s attempt at “re-learning to drink.” Read up on insightful experiences and personal opinions as the author of Thinking About Drinking explores the possibilities of “controlled drinking.” Read it: http://thinkingaboutdrinking.net/about/
- Binge Inking. Authored principally by Peapod, an individual in long-term addiction recovery and who works in the addiction treatment field, this blog offers news, opinion, comments and random musings on addiction and recovery. Binge Inking is always a good source for information and personal stories. http://www.bingeinking.com/
- Stark Raving Sober. Here’s a blog that thoughtfully covers many different aspects of addiction, often from a humorous perspective. The title comes from a phrase used to describe people who are crazy, even when they’re not bombed out of their gourds. We’ll let you determine for yourself if you think the author fits the bill. Read it: http://stark-raving-sober.blogspot.com/
- Life Without Beer Goggles. Oscar started drinking at the age of 13 and drank on and off until he checked himself into a treatment center in 2005. He’s been sober for more than six years, now. Life Without Beer Goggles is Oscar’s attempt share is experiences getting sober with the millions of other people going through the same thing. Read It: http://www.lifewithoutbeergoggles.com/
- Alcoholic Outsider Artist. From the same city that produced Henry Darger comes Chicago’s Parker Lanier, the Alcoholic Outsider Artist. In his own words, his pictures are “confused, abrupt, adamant, honest and entirely lacking in foresight … they are made possible only by the depth of my illness and the gift of my sobriety.” Trust us when we say you’ve got to see them for yourself. Read it: http://alcoholicoutsiderartist.blogspot.com/
- Addiction Inbox. Dirk Hanson is a freelance science reporter and novelist. His Addiction Inbox blog is an extensive, well-kept collection of articles and health studies on drugs, addiction and alcoholism. Dirk’s blog is a great resource for tracking down the most recent scientific studies and medical findings on addiction. Read it: http://addiction-dirkh.blogspot.com/
- Last 100 Days As An Alcoholic. Exactly as it sounds, Last 100 Days was intended to be the documentation of one alcoholic’s last 100 days of drinking. The strategy didn’t quite work at first, but with some help from his family and his doctor, the author has now been sober since April 20, 2011. Last 100 Days documents his progress as he continues to enjoy the sober life. Read it: http://soberin100days.blogspot.com
- The Safe Driver. Scott Marshall is Director of Training for Young Drivers of Canada and has been a judge on three seasons of Canada’s Worst Driver. On his blog The Safe Driver, Scott offers his own observations, opinions and insights on safe driving and driver education. Read it: http://safedriving.wordpress.com/
- Defensive Driving Blog. If you’re looking for useful and accessible tips for safer driving, the Defensive Driving Blog is always a good read. Updated regularly, the authors keep this blog filled with information applicable to all drivers. Read it: http://defdriving.wordpress.com/
- Women-Drivers Blog. Women-Drivers.com is “putting women in the driver’s seat.” Anne Fleming launched the site in 2008 and uses the Women-Drivers Blog to discuss all things auto from a distinctly female perspective. Read it: http://www.women-drivers.com/blog/
- Comedy Guys Defensive Driving Blog. The Comedy Guys team has been providing entertaining defensive driving classes for more than 15 years. On their blog, the group offers tons of defensive driving tips and auto-related news, with more than a handful of funny videos along the way. Read it: http://www.comedyguys.com/blog/
- How We Drive. The official blog of Tom Vanderbilt, Slate’s transportation columnist and the author behind Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do. Tom uses How We Drive as a platform to share his latest work as well as his thoughts on various driving and traffic related issues. Read it: http://www.howwedrive.com/
- L.A. Can’t Drive. Ranked by L.A. Snark as one of the top 50 L.A. blogs, L.A. Can’t Drive is Michael Shen’s attempt to prove that L.A. is a city filled with truly terrible motorists. Posts offer specific examples of terrible drivers, ranking each incident on an “Idiocy Meter” scale. Read it: http://www.lacantdrive.com/
- 4 Safe Drivers. A blog dedicated to providing drivers across the country with relevant driving news. From new ordinances to pending legislation, 4 Safe Drivers has all kinds of useful driving information. Read it: http://www.4safedrivers.com/blog/
- Collision Guard Blog. Collision Guard is a safe driving community whose goal is to “create aware, safety-conscious drivers.” Their blog is a great resource for staying up to date on driving-related news from the serious to the sexy (according to a recent post, sexy drivers drive Audis). Read it: http://collisionguard.com/blog/
- Drive Safe Blog. The Drive Safe Blog is dedicated to “helping parents create safer roads, one teen at a time.” With experienced accident investigator Mike Pehl leading the team, Drive Safe’s bloggers offer tons of great information on how to stay safe behind the wheel. Read it: http://drivesafeblog.com/
- Driver’s Seat. This Wall Street Journal blog features news, views and advice about cars, auto safety, driving and transportation. Driver’s Seat is written primarily by Jonathan Welsh, with contributions from auto critic Dan Neal and Wall Street Journal reporters. Read it: http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/
- Speed Check. Speed Check serves as an open and informed forum for discussion on traffic and pedestrian safety topics. The blog is an excellent resource for information and insights on driver- and traffic-related facts, opinions and experiences. Read it: http://www.informationdisplay.com/traffic_calming_blog/
- Traffic Safety Culture. As the official blog of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Traffic Safety Culture offers its readers information that aims to improve drivers’ attitudes and behaviors for the better. Read it: http://aaafoundation.blogspot.com/
- Zoom Safer Blog. Zoom Safer specializes in software to promote the safe, hands-free use of mobile phones while driving. The company’s blog is a reliable source of information about safe driving and the fight to curb distracted driving. Read it: http://zoomsafer.com/blog/
The U.S. Department of Transportation is kicking of this year’s campaign against drunk driving with some new data gathered about the habits of drivers when it comes to alcohol.
One piece of data gathered from surveys released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that 8 percent of all drivers have driven drunk in the last year.
That translates into around 17 million people when applied to the population of drivers in the U.S.
The NHTSA’s campaign, called “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit, Under Arrest,” focuses on keeping drunk drivers off of the road. The campaign will include a law enforcement crackdown that will run from now until Labor Day.
Police agencies from all over the country will step up DUI enforcement as a part of the campaign. Their efforts will be aided by $13 million in radio and TV advertisements put out by the NHTSA.
“Drunk driving is deadly, it’s against the law, and unfortunately, it’s still a problem,” said Secretary Ray LaHood of the NHTSA.
“With the help of law enforcement around the country, we are going to continue doing all that we can to stop drunk driving and the needless tragedies that result from this reckless behavior.”
According to the survey data collected by the NHTSA, four out of five people said that drunk driving was a major threat to their own life and to the lives of their families. One out of five people had driven a car within two hours of drinking alcohol over the last year.
Another part of the survey made the distinction between those who said that they had driven within two hours of a drink, and those who hadn’t.
Among the first group, it was determined that they drank more frequently than members of the second group. Among members of the first group, a little more than 25 percent of them said that they drank alcoholic beverages three or more days per week.
The survey results were troubling to law enforcement in part because of the habits that it showed among younger people, and especially among younger males.
Those 16 to 20-year-olds that admitted to driving after they drank said that they drank almost six alcoholic drinks in a sitting. This was not necessarily before they drove a car, but rather it was a generalization about their drinking habits.
Nonetheless, in the eyes of the NHTSA, it shows that should a young person make the poor decision to mix drinking and driving, the drinking side of things is likely to be in the extreme.
Drivers aren’t the only concern. The more drinking that goes on, the more likely it is that someone will be a passenger while a drunk driver is at the wheel.
The survey results indicate that 8 percent of the population that is 16 or older rode with a driver who they though might have drunk too much alcohol to drive safely.
Surveys like this are conducted periodically to keep a tab on the public attitude towards drunk driving.
English cricketer Graeme Swann was recently stopped for drunk driving at 3 in the morning in Nottingham, England.
His excuse for driving under the influence? His cat, which had gotten lodged underneath the floor of his home.
According to his story, as reported by the Telegraph, Swann had returned home from a birthday celebration with his wife at the late hour, and on arriving home found that his kitten was stuck under the floor.
Swann then, according to his side of things, rushed to drive to a 24-hour supermarket to buy some tools to help free his unlucky feline.
Police stopped Swann’s white Porsche Cayenne because there had been robberies in the neighborhood recently. Before the stop was made, police report that Swann accelerated “at speed” before the officer put on his flashing lights and the cricketer stopped.
“A male got out of the driver’s seat,” says Pc Steven Denniss. “I saw something in his right hand and saw they were a set of screwdrivers.”
Swann told the officer about his trapped cat, and according to the report his speech was slightly slurred. Swann apologized and told the officer that he knew that he should not have been driving, but that he “only went to Asda to get some screwdrivers to get the cat out.”
Another officer on the scene reported that he thought that, given the robberies in the neighborhood, she suspected that they had another thief on their hands.
Swann told police that the screwdrivers were not what they thought, and that they should call his wife to confirm his story. Police put a call in for a sergeant to stop by the athlete’s home and make sure that the cat was alright.
“[Swann] was very chatty,” the report continued. “He said he had been out celebrating his birthday with his partner. Mr. Swann was in a panic and seemed very concerned about the cat.”
According to the court that heard the case, Swann was “borderline” over the legal drunk driving limit. In England, the legal limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
Swann was named England’s cricketer of the year this year. He is a bowler on the English national team, and took 10 wickets in a test in Bangladesh in March, which propelled him to the award.
No word on whether police ever caught the cat burglars terrorizing the neighborhood, but it’s probably a safe bet that the cat itself was fine.
According to a survey released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fewer Americans are drinking and driving, but one in six drivers are driving while on drugs during the weekend.
The data was released on Monday, July13 from a survey conducted in 2007. The survey showed that 2.2% of drivers were legally driving drunk, with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher.
The first time this survey was conducted was in 1973, where the data showed 7.5% of drivers had a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher. This survey was also conducted in 1986 and 1996.
Although the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is pleased to see the drunk driving battle is successful, he point out that “alcohol still kills 13,000 people a year on our rads and we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to prevent drunk driving.”
The same survey also found that 16.3% of drivers on the road on weekend nights tested positive for drugs. This was the first time the survey checked for drug use while driving.
The most commonly used drugs by drivers were marijuana at 8.6%, cocaine at 3.9% and over-the-counter and prescription drugs at 3.9%.
“This troubling data shows us, for the first time, the scope of drugged driving in America and reinforces the need to reduce drug abuse,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The 2007 survey included the answers of almost 11,000 drivers who entered random survey sites set up across the country to questions drivers who agreed to participate.
A California driver suspected of DUI was struck by another driver, also suspected of DUI.
Pedro Martinez was driving in Costa Mesa, Calif., when his car was broadsided by a vehicle driven by Michael Escobedo. Martinez was hospitalized in critical, but stable condition. His passenger was treated for minor injuries.
Escobedo is being held on bond, under suspicion of DUI. It is unknown whether Martinez will be charged with a DUI offense.
Please take this tale as a warning. You may be driving ever so perfect, but if you’re over the blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent for DUI and you’re struck by another vehicle, you could be arrested and charged with DUI.
Riverside County, CA reportedly shot and killed a DUI suspect who led them on a seven-minute chase, then pulled into a cul-de-sac and crashed his vehicle into a patrol car. Four sheriff’s deputies opened fire on the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.