Bobby Jenks, a longtime relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox who was signed this offseason by the Boston Red Sox, was reportedly arrested this weekend for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.
Jenks was arrested at 3:43 a.m. last Friday after striking two vehicles in the parking lot of Babes strip club in Fort Myers, Florida, and then leaving the scene of the crash, according to a report from The Fort Myers News-Press.
Police charged Jenks with a DUI and two counts of DUI with property damage, in addition to the charge that alleges the pitcher fled the scene of the accident.
The Red Sox are spending the month of March in Fort Myers, where the team holds their annual spring training camp. Jenks’ drug of choice, according to reports, was muscle relaxers, which Jenks admits may have impaired his ability to drive.
Typically, DUI arrest involve drivers who have had too much alcohol to drink, but drivers can be arrested for a DUI if they are impaired due to prescription drugs or other narcotics, as well.
Sources say that the 31-year-old Jenks paid a $4,250 bond and was released by police after just five hours in their custody.
According to the police report, Jenks was driving a white Mercedes SUV when he struck a parked truck at a Fort Myers strip club around midnight. After this collision, however, Jenks reportedly sped out of the strip club parking lot.
To his chagrin, local police pulled him over roughly five minutes after the crash because he was driving erratically. Police claim that, after they pulled him over, Jenks was “shaking uncontrollably and had a difficult time speaking.” Jenks also admitted to taking “too many muscle relaxers.”
And to make his situation worse, when responding officers asked Jenks if he’d taken any other substances besides the muscle relaxers, he said, “I’m going to be honest with you, I was just leaving Babes because I hit a car. I just had to get out of there.”
After expediting the police officers’ investigation, Jenks agreed to take a field sobriety test, but he told police that he was “going to fail it,” and if the arrest is any proof, he probably did.
Though Jenks complied with a request for a field sobriety test, he told the officer, “I’m going to fail it,” according to the report.
The Red Sox have not issued an official statement on the arrest, as they are awaiting more information before decided what, if any, disciplinary actions to take against Jenks.
After a DUI arrest, suspected drunk drivers have several options. They can take a breathalyzer test or refuse to do so, they can bail themselves out or spend the night in jail, and they can determine how they behave in front of the police.
Rarely, though, do DUI suspects take the ill-advised choice of running from the police. This practice, however, seems to be growing more popular, particularly in the town of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
According to a recent report from Sioux Falls’ newspaper, The Argus Leader, local police have had a difficult time with runners, or people who sprint out of the police station while waiting for the results of a blood or breathalyzer test.
The problem is particularly acute in the case of convicted DUI drivers who must return to the police station for a daily blood alcohol test.
After a DUI conviction, South Dakota often orders offenders to participate in a 24/7 sobriety program. For a period of a few months, the offenders must have a blood test taken every day at the police station.
If the individuals pass the exam, they are free to go, and eventually graduate from the program after a certain period of documented sobriety. If, however, the individuals fail the exam, they are immediately placed into jail because they violated the terms of their DUI probation.
One hole in this system in Sioux Falls, though, is that a test-taker must wait in the police department for 15 minutes while the police officer attempts to determine the validity of the initial test.
During this waiting period, the offender waits in the lobby, which is not staffed by a security guard, and the only officer in the room is behind a desk tinkering with blood tests. In other words, it is an invitation for a concerned offender to run.
This occurs fairly frequently in Sioux Falls, according to the report, and recently happened in the case of Brad Lehrkamp. The 28-year-old Lehrkamp was waiting in the lobby and he feared that he had “blown hot,” or failed his blood test.
Lehrkamp’s fears proved accurate, and so, fearing the prospect of going back to jail, Lehrkamp bolted out of the lobby and made a run for it.
His attempt to flee, however, was quickly thwarted when he broke his leg leaping down the police department’s stairs. After being treated at a nearby clinic, a gimpy Lehrkamp was promptly delivered to a local jail.
Of course, dramatic attempts to flee are not the only possible method of escaping South Dakota’s 24/7 sobriety program. Other defendants simply refuse to show up for their appointments, which voids the terms of their probation and also leads to further jail time.
These 24/7 programs have been very popular in many states, because they save the costs of jailing a DUI offender, but also allow law enforcement officials to keep close tabs on people who may act as a danger to others.
The programs, however, also have their critics, many of whom claim that daily blood tests are too intrusive, and that they may not prevent future DUI accidents if they are too loosely enforced.
In a sobering reminder that drunk driving often has severe consequences, a 46-year-old woman in South Carolina was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison after killing a pedestrian in a hit-and-run DUI accident.
According to The Herald, Dianne Alice Webster, of Rock Hill, South Carolina, was convicted on charges of a felony DUI with a death, leaving the scene of an accident with death and committing a hit-and-run violation with injury.
Sources indicate that Webster struck Lorenzo Hemphill and his brother, Antwan, as the two were walking down a well-traveled street in Rock Hill at roughly 9:30 p.m. Antwan died an hour after the accident, while Lorenzo suffered only minor injuries.
After hitting the two brothers, Webster allegedly sped off down the street, and ran into a building, before she recovered and was eventually pulled over for speeding by police.
When she was arrested, Webster failed to perform standard field sobriety tests. And, though her blood alcohol content was measured at .0013, which is below the legal limit of .08, she tested positive for high levels of the prescription drug Xanax.
Whatever was in her system, Webster was clearly impaired. In interviews with police after the accident, she denied that she hit any pedestrians, and also failed to remember any of the places she had been that night.
To make matters worse, Webster claimed that she did not know whose truck she was driving, and she insisted that the date was Tuesday when it was actually Saturday.
The judge, however, took some pity on Webster, and only sentenced her to 25 years for her felony DUI, when the maximum punishment could have been extended to 51 years. The judge expressed a desire for Webster to seek treatment for her addition problems in prison.
At trial, Webster’s case was also strengthened by the testimony of a number of friends, who said that Webster suffered from serious psychological and addiction issues, and had been emotionally destroyed after learning of Hemphill’s death.
The relatively lenient sentence may have disappointed the Hemphill family, who observed that Webster had displayed a pattern of dangerous driving throughout her entire life.
Sources indicate that Webster had been charged with a DUI three times before, and had been charged with driving with a suspended license four times in an eight-year span.
This tragedy raises a few key issues about DUI arrests. First, many people who are arrested for a DUI are not necessarily drunk. Abuse of prescription drugs or illegal narcotics is also a common cause of arrests for driving under the influence.
In addition, the potential consequences of a felony DUI are significantly higher than those for a DUI that is lowered to a misdemeanor.
Of course, in cases where there is a fatality, or where the driver leaves the scene of an accident, the odds are high that a driver will be subject to larger penalties.
Because of the blinding influence of alcohol, drunk drivers attempting to elude the police often think they’re police-evading tactics are more clever than they actually are.
Common tactics include driving too slow or too fast, masking swerving by simply swerving really slow, or blaming red eyes and slow reflexes on a lack of sleep, or prescription pills.
The most infamous DUI offenders, though, are the people who cause car accidents, and then flee the scene out of fear of being caught driving under the influence of alcohol.
A man in Louisville recently learned just how difficult escaping the scene of a DUI accident can be.
According to WDRB News, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, 37-year-old Jesse Gaines was arrested last week after police tracked his car by following the path of leaky fluids from Gaines’ wounded vehicle.
Before his arrest, Gaines had allegedly been involved in a three-car accident in downtown Louisville. The police report from the accident indicates that Gaines swerved into oncoming traffic and struck two cars before speeding back into the road and then striking a pole.
After the accident, Gaines fled the scene, which led to phone calls to Louisville about a drunk driver on the loose.
Officers did not have a hard time locating Gaines, as they simply followed the path of a leaking fluid that had started dripping from Gaines’ car at the scene of the accident.
When Gaines was finally arrested by the police, he admitted that he had just left a strip club where he had consumed two “large liquor drinks.”
The police report also claims that Gaines smelled of alcohol, had red eyes, and was unable to stand without falling down. When the police administered a breathalyzer test, Gaines blew a remarkable .26, which is far above the legal limit of .08.
After his less-than-sterling performance on the blood alcohol test, Gaines was promptly arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
To add insult to injury, Gaines was also charged with a failure to maintain insurance. This, of course, will be disappointing news to the other drivers whose cars were struck by Gaines during his ill-fated drive.
While Gaines faces a world of legal trouble, it’s worth noting that DUI arrests can be serious crimes even in the absence of an actual accident.
A DUI arrest often leads to jail time, a suspended license, and hefty fines. Because of the potentially severe impact of DUI charges, many people who are arrested seek legal information from a local DUI lawyer.
Courts take DUI arrests very seriously, but with the proper legal information, people who are arrested are able to deal with the charges with minimal damages to their finances and their reputation.