Aug

30

DUI Problems Continue for Mary Kennedy

By Topher

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s wife was once again arrested for DUI, this time for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs.

Mary Kennedy was pulled over for speeding at 8 in the morning, according to the Journal News, when police decided to perform sobriety tests and made the arrest for driving while impaired by drugs.

According to the police report, she was driving her 2004 Volvo 82 miles per hour when police pulled her over.

The arrest comes on the heels of a license suspension that was handed down to Kennedy just a month ago, after she pleaded guilty to driving while drunk.

At the time of the latest arrest, Kennedy had a conditional license, which made it legal for her to drive in certain limited situations. She told police that she was going to yoga class.

She was taken to a police station in nearby Millbrook, New York, where an expert in drug-recognition determined that she was under the influence of a prescription medication.

This is the latest in an ongoing series of soap opera-like events for Mary Kennedy. In one bad week in May of this year her husband filed for divorce, police responded to repeated calls to her home in Bedford, New York, and she was charged with DUI.

The May 15 arrest came after she was pulled over after police saw her run her car onto a curb outside of a school. Police said that her speech was blurred. She had a blood-alcohol content of .11.

A few days before that, when police came to her house after she called 911, they found that Mary Kennedy was visibly drunk, that she was having trouble gathering her thoughts or letting police know why she called.

A few days after that, her husband filed for divorce, and the day after that the police returned to the couple’s home on a report of a domestic incident.

In mid-July Kennedy was able to plead guilty to a lesser charge for the DUI, and she had to pay a $500 fine and attend DWI classes.

Aug

19

12-Year-Old Charged With DUI in Minnesota

By Topher

When 19-year-old Benjamin Repinski asked someone to drive him home he may have thought he was doing the right thing. After all, he knew he had been drinking and shouldn’t be driving.

Unfortunately, the driver who agreed had also been drinking – and was only 12-years-old.

On the way home down County Road 12 in Minnesota, she mistook the brake pedal for the gas, veered off the road, and drove through a garden. Repinski then got behind the wheel to drive the two out of the garden and hit a shed, reports CBS News.

The homeowners called the police at about 11:30 pm. When police officers arrived on the scene, they asked to see her license, but she didn’t have one.

Police were surprised to learn the girl Repinski asked for a ride is only twelve years old. They were further stunned when she submitted to a breathalyzer test and was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.09, according to the Boston Herald.

She was taken to a local hospital because she was complaining of back and side pain, where she was released to her mother. She refused to submit to a blood test.

Even though his blood alcohol level was not over 0.08, Repinski has been cited for underage drinking and driving, consumption by a minor, and allowing an unlicensed person to drive. All of these charges are misdemeanors.

He will be expected to attend an August 27, 2010 court date, reports WQOW. The twelve-year-old was cited for a fourth-degree DWI and for refusal to submit to a blood test, says WCCO.

However, those are not the only two people cited in this peculiar event. While a deputy sheriff was on his way to the hospital to interview the girl about the accident, he noticed a moped wobbling down Highway 43 while driving down the road.

The driver of the moped was wearing sunglasses even though it was the middle of the night. The deputy stopped the moped and cited Daniel G. Arndt, age 21, for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. When the deputy asked why Arndt was driving while intoxicated, Arndt replied that he was going to pick up his friend Benjamin Repinski who had been in a car accident.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand acknowledged the peculiarity of the event in an interview with WKBT News.

“It’s something you don’t come across every day. In my forty years of law enforcement, I’ve only come across it once or twice.”

One would hope that to be the case.

Apr

2

This Week’s Oddest DUI-Related Accidents

By Topher

Checking in with the latest DUI mishaps that take place behind the wheel always seems to yield strange and perplexing results. This week is proving to offer the same, as several stories, one out of New Hampshire, one out of upstate New York, and a third from California, prove that anything is possible when it comes to driving under the influence.

In Rochester, New Hampshire, a man was charged with DWI after being stopped on South Main Street in town. It wasn’t hard to spot the suspected offender: the DUI suspect’s car was trailing part of the nozzle and hose of a gasoline pump from its tank.

Sgt. Stephen Burke was cruising around on patrol when he saw Robert Ross’ 1994 Pontiac Grand Am dragging the broken apparatus behind it, according to Foster’s Daily Democrat.

Sgt. Burke pulled Ross over in a pharmacy parking lot, where he was subsequently arrested for driving while intoxicated, habitual offender, and criminal mischief due to the damage to the gas pump.

The pump, it turned out, came from a nearby BP gas station. Ross had apparently simply driven off with the pump still in the tank, and had made it about 200 yards before he was stopped by police.

Officers couldn’t say whether Ross took a field sobriety test. He either took it and failed, or refused to and was still arrested because police suspected him of being intoxicated.

In upstate New York, near Albany, police say that a man was driving the wrong way down the road and under the influence of alcohol when he collided with a tractor-trailer.

George A. Vorsheim, the alleged DUI driver, managed to walk away from the accident unhurt, amazingly. His blood-alcohol content was allegedly more than three times the legal limit to drive at .26 percent, according to the Albany Times-Union. Fortunately the tractor-trailer driver was not hurt either.

Two lanes of the road were closed as the scene was cleaned up.

In a more positive story, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy Aleksandra Kuna was presented the Thin Blue Line award in Palo Alto, California, for saving the life of a good Samaritan who had stopped to help those at the scene of a car collision.

Kuna had grabbed the good Samaritan from the path of an oncoming vehicle, saving the man as the vehicle crashed into the stopped cars, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The driver of that vehicle is now under suspicion for drunk driving.

The Thin Blue Line Award, presented by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, goes to those in law enforcement who save the lives of people threatened by those suspected of driving under the influence.

Feb

28

Driver in Deadly Carl’s Jr. Crash Faces DUI Charges, Too

By Topher

The charges continue to mount for a man who drove his car into a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in El Cajon, California, killing one unsuspecting driver.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the driver, Richard Alfred Daus, was recently charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence at the time of the deadly accident.

If he is convicted of these crimes, Daus could face a maximum of 15 years to life in prison. His charge falls into a section of the law that calls for a harsher sentence for those who have multiple previous DUI convictions on their record, or a prior vehicular manslaughter conviction.

Daus qualifies for this section of the law because he was convicted of reckless homicide in Cook County, Illinois, in 1952, and he has a drunk driving conviction for 1988, which occurred in Alaska.

Daus had a blood-alcohol content of 0.22 percent two hours after the fatal crash occurred, meaning he was almost three times above the legal limit for blood alcohol content, which is 0.08 percent.

Randy Eugene Smith was the victim in the accident. He was a regular at the Carl’s Jr. restaurant, and he was eating breakfast in a corner booth when the SUV of Daus crashed through the building. The crash was captured on surveillance video from a nearby bank.

Daus had been attempting to pull into an ATM machine at that bank. When he couldn’t get the car into the proper positioning, he finally opened the car door to get himself in position. The car lurched forward with the door open and Daus still in the driver’s seat, traveled 361 feet and collided with the Carl’s Jr. restaurant at 33 miles per hour.

Smith was thrown across the restaurant from the impact, and died before he could be taken to the hospital. According to the Union-Tribune, Daus was wedged between the dashboard and the seat of his car.

Officers on the scene said Daus’ eyes were red and watery, and his speech blurred.

Jul

8

Cell Phone to Call a DUI Lawyer is a Right

By admin

On Monday, July 7, a judge acquitted a man on DUI charges because police denied the suspect the right to call a DUI lawyer on his cell phone.

According to Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande, Harvey Whidden’s constitutional rights were violated when he was pulled over on June 13, 2008.

Whidden had been waved into a vehicle safety inspection lane operated by the police because his windshield had a crack in it.

When Whidden pulled over, police noticed empty beer bottles in the bed of his pickup truck. Police also noticed he smelled like alcohol, and his speech was slowed.

The police asked Whidden to take a breath test, but the officer didn’t have a breathalyzer with him. While they waited for a breathalyzer to be brought from the station, the police officer didn’t allow Whidden to use his cell phone to call a DUI attorney.

The judge ruled that since the officer knew Whidden had a cell phone, he should have allowed him to use it to call an attorney.

According to the judge, the police waited about three hours when Whidden was at the police station and formally issued a demand for a breathalyzer before allowing him to call a lawyer.

Source: The Sadbury Star

May

7

Illinois Bar Offers Tow Home to Prevent DUI

By Mary Ann

An Aurora, Illinois company plans to launch a towing service to help prevent DUI.

Around the United States, many DUI drivers will tell you they drove because they had to get the car home. Now, Smith Companies has introduced a towing taxi service they call NDUIT (No DUI Tonight).

The service will allow nearby Naperville, Illinois bar patrons to get a lift home in a tow truck that will haul their cars with them.

But, it ain’t cheap. An unscheduled pickup will cost $85 plus $2 per mile. A pickup, scheduled by a driver that anticipates he’ll need it, will only cost $65 plus the towing fee. Of course, the couple of hundred dollars a ride may cost is still much less than the several hundred dollars a DUI offense can cost.

Naperville’s liquor commissioner wished the company luck, but wondered whether having a fleet of tow trucks on downtown streets at closing time might snarl traffic.

Naperville Police Captain, Gary Bolt, is also skeptical. He wondered how useful a towing service is when a potential DUI driver could get a taxi ride home and back to the tavern for much less. Sorry Captain Bolt, but anything to protect drivers is worth it.

Oct

22

Brief Intervention Can Reduce College Alcoholism

By Guest Attorney

Studies conducted by groups such as the World Health Organisation have shown that brief interventions, even by internet or email, can reduce alcoholism and DUI by college students. The WHO discovered that just 5 minutes of simple advice delivered to people identified as problem drinkers in Australia could cut consumption by more than 25 percent.
San Diego State University’s Check-up to Go intervention tool consists of a feedback form that asks students about how much money they spend on alcohol, family risk, DUI, and how much the student drinks compared to the general student population. Another common feedback tool consists of comparing the calories in a drink to a cheeseburger.

Oct

18

Pete Coors Pleads Guilty to DUI

By Guest Attorney

Beer magnate and former candidate for the US Senate Pete Coors had his driver’s license suspended for three months from the date of his arrest for DUI when he pled guilty to driving while alcohol impaired, a lesser version of DUI. Coors was arrested in May with a breathalyzer reading of 0.088 BAC. Coors was also ordered to pay a $200 fine, $495 in court costs, and attend Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) courses at his expense.

It is typical in Colorado to allow a drunk driver to plead from DUI to DWAI when he has no previous arrests for DUI and does not have an excessive BAC.

Oct

1

Arizona DUI Charges May be Tossed Out

By Mary Ann

Local defense attorneys are suggesting that hundreds of Arizona DUI charges may be subject to dismissal. The DUI attorneys have specifically identified a handful of Arizona DUI cases in which they say that the evidence presented to the grand jury did not match police reports.

Specifically, a Tucson police detective who was assigned to present DUI cases to the grand jury, and who was not involved in any of the arrests in question, apparently testified that suspects had failed field sobriety tests when in fact they had not.

The testimony was based on a summary sheet provided by prosecuting attorneys.

Prosecutors are downplaying the impact of this issue on Arizona DUI court, but the defense attorneys who first raised the discrepancy believe that hundreds of ARizona DUI defendants may have been impacted.