Strange DUI Tales From Across the Country

By Topher

If you watch the news tickers as we do, there never seems to be a shortage of news stories that chronicle the strange and precarious situations that result from the unfortunate decisions of drunk drivers

This week’s round-up features the same collection of oddities and unfortunate incidents from across the country.

New York: After Liver Transplant, a DUI

In New York state, a man was arrested for and admitted to driving while intoxicated after he injured a pedestrian and ran his vehicle into several other cars back in March of this year. He was driving with a blood-alcohol content that was seven times more than the legal limit.

The 32-year-old was the recent recipient of a transplanted liver. He plead guilty to aggravated drunk driving, reported WIVB.

Idaho: DUI Crash in Irrigation Canal

In Boise, Idaho, police arrived at the scene of an accident prepared to rescue a man who had driven his car into an irrigation canal. Before they left the scene, they had pegged the driver, Gerardo Huerta-Flores Jerome, with a DUI citation.

Huerta-Flores was speeding in a work zone around dawn when he veered off the road and his vehicle rolled into the canal. A trooper passing by saw parts of the accident. He stopped and waded out into the ditch and pulled Jerome from the car, which was under water.

The driver went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, reported Fox12.

In North Dakota: Billboards Track DUI Arrests

In Fargo, North Dakota, police have taken a decidedly public approach to cutting down on DUI arrests: they are displaying the latest number of arrests on several electronic billboards.

Police in Fargo installed two billboards in the city, which will display the number of arrests for driving under the influence that have occurred in the city. The count will update every Friday. Fargo police Sgt. Mike Bernier considers the billboards an educational tool with a simple goal: “We’re just trying to get people to not drink and drive,” he said.

A state grant had paid for the purchase and maintenance of the signs. The total cost for the effort was around $7,000.

Georgia Man Steals Own Car During DUI

In Rome, Georgia, a man reported that his car had been stolen while he was at the store. Three hours later, that man was arrested. He was driving the very car that he had reported stolen, and he was allegedly driving it drunk.

He was arrested for DUI and false report of a crime, reported the Atlanta Journal Constitution.



Illinois State Police Hiding DUI Record of State Employed Chaplain

By Mary Ann

Illinois state police officials refuse to release a copy of the arrest report on a state prison chaplain charged with DUI.

Officials claim it would be an invasion his privacy. The Associated Press has attempted to get the report through the Freedom of Information Act (FICA) which states that arrest information is public record. The FICA adds that information “that bears on the public duties of public employees” isn’t considered private.

In addition, the Illinois State Records Act explicitly requires police to allow the inspection and copying of arrest reports.

All that is known is that Reverend William M. Watts was pulled over in December near Kankakee, Illinois after a witness reported his car traveling below the minimum speed limit. The chaplain was put on administrative leave and resigned in February.

In its response to the AP, state police said releasing the documents “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” an exemption under the law. A lawyer for the Illinois Press Association said that doesn’t make sense. Arrests reports for DUI cases are routinely released by police to show they’re doing a good job.

A State Police spokesman said the arrest report contains personal information such as William’s blood alcohol content (BAC) which could jeopardize a court case, but declined to indicate what the court case was.



Chico California Women Discusses How Easy a DUI Can Be

By Mary Ann

A Chico California women, arrested Christmas Eve, discussed her DUI with a reporter from the Chico Enterprise-Record. Just before Christmas, this unnamed professional and respected business woman found herself dealing with family problems and a romantic breakup. Her friend was also feeling the blues, so the women stopped off for a drink. One led to another and a ‘gentleman’ buying drinks for the women. A block from home, a Chico police officer pulled her over on suspicion of DUI.

The woman’s BAC was 0.20 percent, about 2-1/2 times California’s BAC limit. After her release she discovered that she faces a fine of at least $1,750, plus fees and court costs. She also faces DUI classes for up to a year, purchasing high cost high-risk auto insurance, the cost of a lawyer, and a possible 10 month suspension of her driver’s license.

The women started attending AA after a DUI in 1998. Christmas Eve was the first time she’d had a drink in two years.