A recent DUI arrest in Missoula, Montana, spun out of control when the driver began attacking local police, who responded to the abuse by tasing the man twice and hauling him off to jail after his fourth DUI arrest.
Police arrested 40-year-old Roy Vincent Adams on suspicion of drunk driving after they perceived that his car driving erratically, according to a recent report from The Missoulian.
Sources indicate that, immediately before the arrest, police noticed Adams gunning his engine on slick, icy roads, which caused his car to swerve wildly and almost led him to crash his vehicle directly into a police cruiser.
When police officers, who were trailing Adams, turned on their lights, Adams attempted to flee by speeding in an opposite direction. His efforts, however, were to no avail, as Adams simply ran his truck into a curb.
According to the police report filed after the incident, Adams left his car after being pulled over and started pacing back and forth, in what police deemed a threatening and erratic manner.
When Adams allegedly ignored an officer’s demand to sit on the curb, the arresting officers grabbed Adams and a fight ensued. Adams allegedly struck one officer in the chest, and was able to continue fighting even after the police tased him twice.
The police report also indicates that Adams continued screaming obscenities at police officers after he was handcuffed and incapacitated. Sources say that Adams, who has been held in a local jail on a $15,000 bail, has been convicted three times before on DUI charges.
Adams is facing a litany of charges, including felony DUI, assault, resisting arrest and attacking a police officer, and reckless driving.
Interestingly, police were able to obtain a blood sample from Adams via a mandatory blood test, rather than a breath test, which Adams refused to give.
The administration of “no refusal” blood tests has recently gained traction in several states, as police officers have looked for an alternative method of determining a suspect’s blood alcohol level when the driver refuses to give a breath test.
The use of the blood test has drawn the ire of civil rights attorneys who criticize law enforcement officials for using the remarkably invasive method of drawing blood from noncompliant suspects.
In the absence of a less-invasive blood alcohol testing method, however, it seems that police will continue to rely on mandatory blood tests when DUI suspects refuse to breath into breathalyzer devices.
Of course, as technology continues to grow at an exponential pace, there may soon be a DUI testing method that allows police to determine a suspect’s blood alcohol level without touching him or her at all.
This method, though, will raise new concerns about privacy, as police could theoretically administer such a non-invasive test to everyone, regardless of their level of suspicion.
These issues serve to highlight an inescapable reality of modern DUI law: as technology continues to give police more enforcement options, defendants will keep arguing that the new tactics give police too much control over civilian drivers.
This week’s DUI stories feature a poor parenting decision, and an active night for a man charged with 3 DUIs in a single evening of driving.
Baby On Board
It is all too common in the world of DUI news to hear about a parent’s use of poor judgment. Not only do they allegedly drive drunk, but they do so with a child in the car with them.
In Fort Myers, Florida, Brittney Locke is charged with DUI and other crimes, after police say she was stopped on the interstate while driving under the influence, according to ABC 7.
According to police, Locke was stopped after witnesses called police, having witnessed an accident on the highway. The driver left the scene, witnesses said, and police found Locke parked along the side of the road near an exit, with metal sheared off the side of the car.
She also had an infant in the car with her, in a car seat.
Police noted that she appeared to have trouble keeping her eyes open, and said she didn’t know what she’d hit to cause the damage to her car. She failed a field sobriety test.
She claimed to be on the way to see the child’s father, to get money from him. She also told police she was exhausted, and that she had to be up early to visit an area methadone clinic as a part of addiction treatment.
Police allegedly found a Xanex tablet in the car, a prescription bottle of ibuprofen and a plastic straw that, according to ABC, “appeared to be coated with drug residue.”
A relative took control of the child. Locke is charged with DUI, DUI property damage for the guard rail she allegedly hit, child cruelty, drug possession and drug equipment possession.
A 3 DUI Charge Night
According to KGMI in Whatcom County, Washington, a man is facing 3 DUI charges after a single night of activity.
Tommy Ryser allegedly wrecked his pickup truck on the road, where police found it at around 8 p.m. on a Monday night. Then, police received a call that another accident had been reported.
It was a red VW Golf that had crashed into a guardrail.
Who pulled up to that accident site but Ryser, driving a tow truck. He had a cut on his face, according to police, and was found to be intoxicated.
According to KGMI, Ryser was arrested for and charged with crashing both disabled vehicles, and with driving drunk to the crash sites, in order to tow them back home.
A San Ramon, California, man is suspected of drunk driving and hit-and-run after police arrested him in the wake of what CBS 5 is calling a “drunken driving rampage.” The man, Cainan Schierholtz, is the brother of a pro baseball player for the San Francisco Giants, Nate Schierholtz.
Cainan Schierholtz was arrested on a recent Sunday morning, after, according to police, he hit a bicyclist, a pedestrian, a light pole and two cars.
The call came it at about 10 in the morning, with reports that a car was driving recklessly on Danville Boulevard, in Danville, California.
Then came the report that the driver allegedly hit a cyclist riding in a bike lane on the same road. Schierholtz allegedly did not stop, though, continuing down the road. Soon after that he allegedly hit a pedestrian who was standing in the bike lane.
Again, he didn’t stop to offer assistance or acknowledge either of the accidents. Instead, he allegedly continued driving, then swerved into traffic and hit a pickup truck. Not done yet, police said that he kept on driving still, until he veered up onto the sidewalk and rammed into a light pole, which fell to the ground.
Even after all of that, Schierholtz still kept driving, according to police. He rear-ended a sport utility vehicle, and then drove down a dead-end street.
The driver of the pick-up truck who had been previously hit followed Schierholtz, and then used his truck to pin him into the dead-end street so that he couldn’t get away.
According to a witness, the suspect’s airbags had deployed, so that he was awkwardly pinned in the car. And yet, despite even that, he was still driving.
Eventually Schierholtz realized he couldn’t get past the makeshift blockade, and he stopped in front of the pickup truck. The truck’s driver and several other bystanders pulled the suspect out of his car and restrained him until the police got there.
Schierholtz was booked on suspicion of four counts of DUI causing bodily harm, three counts of hit-and-run causing injury, two counts of hit-and-run causing property damage, and driving without a license, according to CBS. He was held on $350,000 bail.
John Patrick Barton was convicted of DUI three times in the last 13 years. The Texas courts sent him to jail on weekends, put him on probation and even sent him to state prison for ten months. They required him even to use an ignition interlock system while driving a car.
None of these measures prevented Barton from killing two members of a young family when he got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated and proceeded to rear end their vehicle.
Barton drove his wife’s Mazda into the family’s car, it went into a spin that would leave Kandace Hull, 33, and her 13-year-old daughter Autumn Caudle dead. All five members of Hull’s family were in the car. Her husband, daughter and son were injured but survived the crash, reports the Dallas Morning News.
“It’s just kind of like somebody put a concrete block on your chest and you don’t know what to do,” said Linda Agee, a friend of the family.
A witness to the event estimated that Barton was traveling 80 miles per hour when he passed her on the highway. “He was swerving in and out of the lanes, and I thought to myself that this guy was definitely drunk,” said Laura Meade. She would see the crash happen soon after, when Barton apparently swerved to avoid the HOV lane.
Barton worked as a computer technician. He was paroled in 2009 after serving ten months out of a 3-year sentence in prison for DWI.
The results of the blood-alcohol test on Barton will not be available immediately, according to officials.
Barton’s previous record with DWI convictions raise the charges in the case to the level of felony. And because the crime that he allegedly committed was clearly dangerous to human life, officials are able to pursue the murder charges.
If convicted of the charges, Barton faces life in prison. His license was, however, still valid at the time of the deadly accident.
Friends and coworkers describe the Hull family as tight knit, and involved in sports and activities around the community.
Barton was also hospitalized, but his injuries were not as serious, and he will soon be transferred to a Texas jail.
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.
The penalties for a DUI conviction can dramatically increase with multiple convictions. But one woman in New Hampshire pushed these laws to their limits recently.
The Associated Press recently reported that a woman in Concord, N. H. was arrested three times in one week for allegedly driving under the influence.
Patricia Mondro now faces a $50,000 cash only bail on three separate charges of a driving under the influence issued within just days of one another.
On January 16, Mondro was arrested in a parking lot in Londonderry after she crashed her vehicle. Witnesses then contacted the local police department because they said that Mondro looked disoriented.
She was then arrested and charged with a misdemeanor DWI, but was release from jail the next day.
Five days later, she was arrested and charged with an aggravated DWI after crashing into a guardrail on Interstate 93 in Concord. Mondro suffered a few injuries from the crash, but was released from jail.
Shortly after Mondro was released she was arrested for a third time. She had allegedly hit a pick-up truck on the same highway where her she was charged with her second DUI offense.
She was driving with her headlights off when she hit the other car which then collided with a third vehicle. No injuries were reported in the incident.
After the first two arrests, Mondro still had her driver’s license because neither case had moved through the court system yet.
Lt. Tim Jones of the Londonderry Police Department said “that the problem is [that] all these license issues kick in after the conviction, [and] she’s in the interim state.”
Judge Gerald Boyle said at Mondro’s arraignment that he was concerned with the public’s safety as she had received multiple DWI’s in a very short period of time.
He further said that Mondro was “an extreme danger” not only to herself but to others as well. So he imposed separate cash only bails for each offense.
According to the Concord Monitor, Mondro made very few remarks during her arraignment. But she said that her husband had recently left her.
Her legal aid stated that Mondro’s family is going to get her the help she needs. Her court date for her third DWI charge is February 9.
Richard Niemczyk, a resident of Hanover Park, Ill., was recently arrested for and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to The Courier-News.
The DUI charge was Niemczyk’s tenth such charge since 1991.
Niemczyk was arrested following an Oct. 21 incident at a local business, where a store employee reported to police that Niemczyk was acting belligerently while attempting to return merchandise to the store.
Police arrived on the scene, and told Niemczyk not to drive out of the business’ parking lot, determining after some investigation that his license had been revoked.
Niemczyk chose to disobey this directive, which proved to be a bad decision.
Police officers saw Niemczyk drive past them at a nearby intersection, a mere fifteen minutes after leaving the store. Driving a 1994 Ford Econoline van, he was arrested not only for driving with a revoked license, but he was also later charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
A DuPage County Grand Jury recently indicted Niemczyk for aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Because it was his tenth DUI arrest since March of 1991, the charge was upgraded to a Class X felony, which can mean six to thirty years in a state penitentiary, and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
The local police department and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office have, according to The Courier-News, “charged Niemczyk with a Class 1 Felony for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a Class 4 Felony for aggravated driving with a revoked license, a Class A Misdemeanor for driving under the Influence of Alcohol and a Class A Misdemeanor for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more.”
Niemczyk is being held on $100,000 bail at the DuPage County Jail in Wheaton, Illinois, after an October 22 bail bond hearing.
The Courier-News report did not mention what merchandise he was attempting to return, or whether the attempt was ultimately successful.