Alleged DUI Driver Steers Into Busy Train Tunnel

By Mike

Experts often advise inebriated people to take public transportation rather than risk getting a DUI by driving home, but the worst possible choice is to try to combine driving and public transportation.

This dangerous mixture, however, recently occurred in San Francisco when an alleged drunk driver steered his SUV into the start of an underground train tunnel, which, predictably, caused a bit of chaos.

The driver, 40-year-old Scott Mitchell, a resident of Sebastopol, California, was charged with three different crimes, including driving under the influence, after speeding into a municipal train tunnel at 6 a.m. last Thursday morning.

Mitchell was able to progress at a clip of roughly 40 miles per hour in the inbound direction of the morning trains. His progress was stopped about a half mile into the tunnel when his car became lodged between the tracks.

Tyonne Julian, a city employee who witnessed the bizarre event, claims that Mitchell actually switched tracks halfway through his tunnel drive in order to miss an oncoming train. Observers noted that it was a miracle that Mitchell didn’t ram into a train.

When Julian saw the crazed driver, he radioed city officials to stop the morning train traffic, which was put on hold for more than two hours as cleanup crews made the tracks safe again for train travel.

Of course, this two-hour delay occurred during a weekday downtown rush hour, which caused untold frustration among the hundreds of thousands of San Francisco commuters who were adversely affected that morning.

For his efforts, police charged Mitchell with a strange combination of violations, including driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on train tracks, and failing to obey a traffic sign (which, presumably, warned drivers that the train tunnel was not, in fact, for vehicles).

And while Mitchell may have failed to correctly practice the art of taking public transportation when drunk, he was at least honing in on the correct form of transit.

For people who like to drink, and have the advantage of living in a metropolitan area, forms of public transportation such as the bus or a train offer a safe, often enjoyable way to get home.

Even people under the influence of all sorts of substances typically have the capacity to climb aboard a train or bus and stumble out at the appropriate exit. Buses and trains have likely saved countless drivers from unwanted drunk driving arrests.

Of course, trains and buses aren’t the only alternative form of transportation for people who’ve had too many drinks. If, for example, you have extra cash on hand, taxis offer a more expensive, but equally safe form of transit.

On the other hand, if you are poor in cash but rich in friends, calling someone else to drive you home or designating a sober driver at the beginning of the night can help ensure that you get home without an encounter with angry police.



Dealing with DUI: 44 Best DUI, Alcohol and Driver Safety Resources

By Mary Ann

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!

    Drunk Driving

  1. 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/
  2. 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/
  3. 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/
  4. 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/
  5. Alcohol News and Information

  6. 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/
  7. 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/
  8. 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/
  9. 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
  10. 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/
  11. 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/
  12. 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/
  13. 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/
  14. 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/
  15. Alcoholism Treatment & Recovery

  16. 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/
  17. 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/
  18. 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/
  19. 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/
  20. 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/
  21. 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/
  22. 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
  23. 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/
  24. 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/
  25. 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/
  26. 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/
  27. 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/
  28. 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/
  29. 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/
  30. 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/
  31. 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/
  32. 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/
  33. 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
  34. Driver Safety

  35. 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/
  36. 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/
  37. 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/
  38. 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/
  39. 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/
  40. 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/
  41. 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/
  42. 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/
  43. 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/
  44. 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/
  45. 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/
  46. 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/
  47. 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/



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.



Wackiest DUIs of the Week and More

By Mary Ann

Did you hear about the dog facing DUI arrest? Turns out it was just a drunk man who thought he was a dog. And an FBI agent.

Or how about the girl who claims she failed her breathalyzer because she’d been making out with a drunk boy?

Were you aware that you can be charged with DUI even if you didn’t actually drive a car?

One New York man faces DUI charges after riding a motorized cooler while under the influence (since when are coolers motorized?).

And what DUI roundup would be complete without a look at the latest batch of celebrities facing charges for driving under the influence?

Check back next week for the latest and most bizarre in the world of impaired driving.